Triathlon was friends’ thank you to Spalding

They had to deal with extreme heat, got trapped in weeds and complete a job interview, but that didn’t stop two friends raising over £1,500 for a new community centre.

Aga Smith and Kinga Rupniewska took on a triathlon in Spalding town centre recently to raise money for Project St Thomas, a bid to turn the former Methodist Church into a hub for the town.

The pair became friends after meeting at St Norbert’s Church, which is behind the project, and say they wanted to give something back.

Neither had done a triathlon before. They enjoy open water swimming but wanted to try something new for the fundraiser.

Over 20K of swimming, cycling and running the pair had a few hairy moments. On one of the hottest days of the year so far they had to stop so as not to overheat, while Aga got tangled up in weeds swimming in the River Welland.

Thankfully the Spalding Water Taxi was alongside them in the water for support.

“It was an effort for everyone in the community as this is a project that’s really needed in Spalding,” Aga said. “From everyone who saw us out and supported us, to the members of the church that helped out and the donations from both individuals and business.

“We met a lot of amazing people on the way.”

The obstacles meant that the triathlon took longer than the pair thought, and meant that Kinga had to rush back for an online job interview she had to sit through in her still dripping wet-suit.

Thankfully the employers were still suitably impressed and hired her.

She’s also going to be continuing on the committee for Project St Thomas despite moving back to Poland for family reasons.

“Spalding has given us so much and we wanted to give something back,” she said.

“The whole idea of the project is to bring the community together and that’s what this event did too.

“Even in Poland I’ll be supporting Project St Thomas because I don’t think there’s anything like it in Spalding.”

Kinga currently works for Bakkavor and among a host of support for Project St Thomas they donated was the cheque for £305 to the triathlon push.

Staff shop manager Mohammed Alam said: “This is all about the community and we’re delighted to back the project and Kinga and Aga’s amazing fundraising.”

Lisa Barwell, the project co-ordinator, said: “It’s really nice for people to pull together like this.

“We can’t say thank you enough to Kinga, Aga and everyone involved.

“What they have done is absolutely amazing.”

Triathlon was friends’ thank you to Spalding