PRESS RELEASE 28/01/20 - Seki Media
11-year-old Christian Sagote of Melbourne, Australia is a Weet-Bix TRYathlon star.
The energetic youngster whose family originates from the village of Leauva'a, is one of eight children in Australia chosen to feature on the Weet-Bix cereal box.
Participation in previous tryathlons was a prerequisite for the exciting accolade but it was his interview with the Weet-Bix marketing team that impressed them the most.
"I want to encourage more of our Samoan and Pacific kids especially to enter the tryathlon because it's fun and it's important to be active," he said.
"Our people have high rates of diabetes and obesity issues so it's important to have a healthy mindset early when you're a kid."
Last year Samoa was listed sixth in the top 10 obese countries of the world according to a report by the World Health Organisation (WHO). The child obesity statistics are alarming and at least 20 percent of children between 5-19 years are obese.
In New Zealand, the Ministry of Health also reported last year that Pacific Island children made up the largest group (28.4 percent) of obese children in the country. Children living in socio economically deprived areas were more likely to be obese as children living in the least deprived. A lack of education around nutrition and physical activity were also contributing factors.
Christian says that the irony of these numbers is that Samoans are also strong and athletic people too and boast some of the world's biggest sporting icons.
"It doesn't have to be like this. We can all achieve anything when we put our mind to it.
“The best part of the tryathlon for me was crossing that finish line. My mum says it's always important to 'finish' things in life, even when it gets hard."
Sanitarium marketing brand manager Tyler Van der Veer says that Christian's desire to make a difference in his community is what struck a chord with Weet-Bix.
"Christian realised how much of a positive impact his actions could have on his community," he explained.
"He used his experience at the Weet-Bix kids tryathlon to help encourage so many others like him to live an active, confident and healthy lifestyle."
Van der Veer adds that for 22 years, the Sanitarium Weet-Bix kids tryathlon has been passionate about encouraging every kid to give it a go and that over the years the tryathlon has attracted more ethnic groups.
"We have seen a huge increase in the diversity of kids attending the tryathlon, something we are very pleased about. Celebration of diversity has always been deeply ingrained in our event and this diversity grows each year."
Christian who is raised by his mother Lia Sagote, moved with his mum to Melbourne in 2015 from West Auckland New Zealand in search of a better life. And they haven't looked back.
Christian also excels in soccer and basketball playing for elite Melbourne clubs. He enjoys school, computer coding, building apps and hanging out with his friends. He will participate in his third Weet-Bix tryathlon in March and says that this year's event will be even more special as he won't be doing it by himself anymore after helping to register 10 of his cousins for the event.
He is proud to be a Samoan Boy featured on a Weet-Bix cereal box in Australasia.
The Weet-Bix boxes will be distributed from January to April in Australia and the Pacific Islands including Samoa.
What is a Sanitarium Weet-Bix Kids Tryathlon?
The Sanitarium Weet-Bix Kids TRYathlon is a non-competitive event. It is a community engagement program that assists kids to develop self esteem. Australia’s largest Kids TRYathlon series aims to encourage kids to get fit & active while having fun with their friends.
The TRYathon is conducted along the lines of an adult triathlon, i.e: swim, ride and run in one event.
The Weet-Bix Kids TRYathlon is for kids aged 7 – 15 years of age.
It doesn’t matter if you have participated in the Weet-Bix Kids TRYathlon Series before or not. The Weet-Bix Kids TRYathlon is all about TRY-ing your best and having a go!