Jimmy Goddard, the UK’s top male Paratriathlete, today unveiled a specially designed paratriathlon wetsuit that will see competition for the first time this weekend at the Triathlon World Championship Series in Hyde Park. The suit was designed exclusively for Jimmy by a group of school children who participated in the GE Wetsuit Challenge, held in partnership with the STEMNET* organisation and then produced by Speedo.
Jimmy, who has been competing in triathlons for the last fifteen years, is a former commando who was paralysed from the chest down in a rock climbing accident in 2004. Two months after being discharged from hospital he completed his first Paratriathlon at the London Triathlon. He won the 2009 British Paratriathlon Championships and in 2010, as part of the GE Great Britain Paratriathlon Team, he came 6th at the World Championships.
Jimmy hopes that the new wetsuit will help him gain a vital edge in his quest to win the 2011 World Championships on his journey to Rio 2016 where Paratriathlon will make its debut at the Paralympic Games.
The wetsuit was designed by students from Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School in Ashbourne, Derbyshire, who won the GE Wetsuit Challenge at the STEMNET National Finals. The six pupils (Team Orca) beat almost 100 other teams from schools across the UK.
The GE Wetsuit Challenge (STEM Challenge 5) asked pupils to design a completely new type of wetsuit. The current paratriathlon wetsuit design is based on those worn by able bodied athletes, meaning that paratriathletes can waste valuable time during the transition from the swim to the bike. A newly improved and specially designed wetsuit for paratriathletes could prove vital in improving performance during transition and in the water itself.
On the wetsuit and its performance Jimmy comments, “The new wetsuit design keeps my legs straighter in the water, (reducing the effects of drag) and is quicker to remove in transition. This should help give me a distinct advantage going into London and the World Championships in September. I am very happy with the work that the pupils from Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School and Speedo did in designing and making this phenomenal suit.”
Chris Katsuleres, Director of Olympic Marketing and Sports Programmes at GE, comments, “Helping Jimmy perform to the limits of his ability is something we are very proud of contributing to with the development of this wetsuit. This commitment to Jimmy reflects GE’s wider commitment to the sport of Triathlon that we have made through our involvement in the UK with the British Triathlon Federation and our support of key events such as Blenheim, Canary Wharf and Hyde Park.”
Rob Johnson, Head of Open Water & Triathlon, Speedo says ‘Speedo is delighted to lend our support by bringing to life the children’s designs for the winning STEMNET suit. All at Speedo find Jimmy an inspiration to all triathletes and swimmers and Speedo are proud to support Jimmy’s high level triathlon achievements. We wish Jimmy the very best of luck this week and for his 2016 Paralympic goals.”
The GE Wetsuit Competition was created to answer the needs of Jimmy, a GE ambassador and also to raise awareness of paratriathlon, its phenomenal athletes and their unique needs among a wider audience, whilst inspiring the next generation of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics professionals from which companies like GE will find their future talent.
GE, one of the worldwide sponsors of the London 2012 Olympic Games, is the Elite Partner of the British Triathlon and Paratriathlon teams. This activity forms one part of GE’s wider involvement in British Triathlon.
To learn more about what GE is doing in triathlon visit www.facebook.com/GEtriathlon where training tips, videos, unique content and competitions can be found.