By Paul Osborne

The UK's inaugural mass participation Para-triathlon event will be held Dorney Lake on August 9 ©Para-TriGreat Britain's inaugural mass participation Para-triathlon event will be held at the prestigious London 2012 rowing venue, Dorney Lake, on August 9.

The Para-Tri Series will become the first ever Para-triathlon event open to the mass public, giving disabled athletes of all levels the opportunity to compete.

Launched by Paralympian Sophia Warner, Para-Tri looks to open the door to increased involvement in Para-triathlon for the mass public in the aftermath of the hugely successful London 2012 Paralympic Games.

Para-triathlons of the past have been open to only the public, with this new series hoping to put an end to this development and create opportunities for the one million people with disabilities who participate in sport regularly.

"In 1998 I was the first disabled participant to complete the London Triathlon," said Warner.

"Even as an elite athlete I found the prospect of entering an able-bodied event daunting.

"Disability sport falls into two main categories: rehabilitation and elite - with very few opportunities for the majority in between.

"Para-Tri is the realisation of a long-held dream to create a series of dedicated events that anyone with a disability can enter."

The inaugural Para-Tri Series will take place at Dorney Lake on August 9, where rowing was held at London 2012 ©Getty ImagesThe inaugural Para-Tri Series will take place at Dorney Lake on August 9, where rowing was held at London 2012 ©Getty Images

The event in Dorney Lake, known as Eton Dorney during London 2012, will provide six races offering a very different challenge for all those involved.

The Sprint Para-Tri is designed for the absolute beginner, offering a 150 metre swim, 3 kilometres bike and 1km run, while the Full Para-Tri allows amateurs to compete across the same distance as their Paralympic heroes at Rio 2016.

There are also two relay events, giving Para-triathlon hopefuls the opportunity to compete alongside their able-bodied friends and family, while the sixth and final event is open to the Para-triathlon elite.

Olympic sprinter and television personality Iwan Thomas, along with Lance Corporal Derek Derenalagi, joined Warner in announcing the inaugural event.

"Mass-participation events have boomed over the past decade and attract huge interest and participation numbers," said Thomas.

"It's time there was an event dedicated to people with disabilities on the calendar.

"And this is just the beginning.

"There are many more Para Series events in the pipeline.

"Para-Tri is primarily about getting stuck in and having fun, but it's also a chance to complete a challenge with real bragging rights."

Derenalagi, who is also supported by Help for Heroes, added: "High-profile events like the Paralympics have inspired the nation, and the number of people with disabilities involved in sport has never been higher.

"We hope Para-Tri will help this trend to continue.

"This is going to be a fantastic event for everyone to get involved in, families and friends can compete together or you can take on the challenge on your own.

"There is something for everyone."

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