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South Wales athletes raring to go for big sports week

ATHLETES from across South Wales are busy preparing for a big international sporting week coming to Swansea.

Hundreds of them – like Swansea-based husband and wife David and Kelly Hutin – will be among the thousands who visit from Wales, all across Europe and internationally, to take part in the week’s top quality events.

Like the week’s organisers and partners, they want local people to be inspired by the activities, to compete in and to enjoy sport.

July 10-16 is due to see Swansea host the free international spectator events IRONMAN 70.3 Swansea, 2023 World Triathlon Para Series Swansea and the Para Sport Festival.

Those leading the events, supported by Swansea Council and Welsh Government, are:

  • IRONMAN 70.3 Swansea – organiser IRONMAN
  • 2023 World Triathlon Para Series Swansea – organiser British Triathlon, supported by Welsh Triathlon
  • Para Sport Festival – organiser Disability Sport Wales, supported by Welsh Triathlon

Robert Francis-Davies, council cabinet member for investment, regeneration, events and tourism, said: “Last summer’s inaugural events were hailed by many as a huge success, with a global spotlight falling on Swansea.

“It’s good to see Welsh athletes gearing up for another great week of sport.

“This year’s events will be held before the school summer holidays and will help to kick-start the area’s peak tourism period.

“Once again, the week-long Disability Sport Wales Para Sport Festival will offer accessible participation opportunities in activities such as swimming, cycling and running.

“The city will offer a warm welcome to the thousands of athletes and supporters who’ll be here.

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“Event organisers are working with our communities on matter such as road arrangements to ensure the best possible experience for everybody.

“2023 is proving to be top class year of high-flying entertainment and sports events in Swansea. We’ve already had world-class events such as the Arctic Monkeys tour at the Swansea.com Stadium. The Wales Airshow is due to take place on the seafront on July 1-2 and the incredible array of other events is set to include Madness, Tom Grennan, Sam Ryder, Escape and Ministry of Sound Classical in Singleton Park.”

David and Kelly Hutin, members of South Wales sports club Celtic Tri, are among those due to take part in IRONMAN 70.3 Swansea. They’re training twice a day in the run-up.

This will be the Sketty couple’s first IRONMAN event – less than two years since they joined a triathlon club for the first time.

Having been married in summer 2021 and then started swimming together at Swansea’s Penlan Leisure Centre, they’d both joined Celtic Tri by early 2022 and have since entered triathlon events … but not an IRONMAN event.

The couple work for the same successful Swansea-based business, Solo Service Group which has commercial cleaning contracts around the UK. Kelly is finance manager, David is operations director.

Kelly said: “We were both born and raised in Swansea and we wanted to make our home IRONMAN event our first – it’s on our doorstep after all.

“We know it’s going to be tough, especially the 56-mile cycle but we’re determined to complete the event and we know that all the participants will be cheered on by friends, relatives, workmates and supporters.”

David said: “Swansea and Gower lends itself to this type of spectacular event – our local natural landscape is world class.

“Last year we volunteered on the event’s feed stations, and we loved the buzz, professionalism and dedication that IRONMAN and the athletes brought to the event. It’ll be the same this summer.

“We were in awe of the athletes last year and have been inspired by them – and this time it’ll be a huge challenge to among amongst them.”

New last summer, IRONMAN 70.3 Swansea will make its return on Sunday, July 16, with a middle-distance swim, bike, run event. It will see around 2,000 athletes enjoy the outstanding natural beauty and dramatic coastal landscapes of the scenic coast.

Starting with a 1.2-mile swim at Prince of Wales Dock, athletes will undertake the bike ride along the sweeping waterfront of Swansea Bay, through Mumbles, and across the hills of the Gower before completing a 13.1-mile seaside run. With an epic festival finish in Museum Gardens, athletes will race down the iconic IRONMAN 70.3 red carpet to receive the second IRONMAN 70.3 Swansea medals.

The 2023 World Triathlon Para Series Swansea, on Saturday, July 15, is the headline event of the Disability Sport Wales’ Para Sport Festival (July 10-15).

It will bring some of the best paratriathletes in the world to the city to swim, bike and run, with the SA1 Waterfront providing a hub setting for the action.

The 2023 World Triathlon Para Series Swansea is part of a three-year commitment to host such an event in Swansea through to the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games. The racing will be available to watch around the course, as well as provide opportunities to volunteer and help make the event a success.

The elite action will be preceded by Para Sport Festival events such as the Welsh Para Golf Open, the insport Series: Swansea with more than 20 sports available to be sampled, the Boccia UK Team Championships Open and a Wales v Scotland deaf football international.

All the week’s events will give local residents and visitors the chance to watch – or take part in – top-class sport. They will shine a global spotlight on Swansea as thousands of athletes – some world-class – will take part.

Thousands of leaflets, including July 15-16 route maps and road closure schedules, have been mailed to local householders by organisers.

Residents, visitors and businesses with queries about arrangements such as road changes can email [email protected] and [email protected].