THE diverse terrain of Bala will play host to the some of the most talented young athletes this weekend.

The Bala Big Bash Festival, a series of triathlon and open swimming youth competitions organised by the Urdd Gobaith, the Welsh Traithlon and Swim Wales, promises to shift the energy levels at Llyn Tegid up a notch.

The main event, the Bala Triathlon, will see young athletes engage in a 1500m swim in Llyn Tegid, followed by a 39km cycle along winding valley roads, before the final 10km run along the banks of Llyn Tegid to the finish at the lake’s northern bank.

The Sunday event is the 4th stage of the Welsh Super Series for 2018 and will offer opportunities for amateur triathletes to compete against the best Wales has to offer.

There will be prior events on Saturday, July 7, which will see athletes perform in Stage 8 of the Tristar Inter Regional Championship Qualifier, an open water swimming race involving swimmers aged 9 to 14.

Anyone can register to enter these competitions as a novice, and have the opportunity to enter as a relay team of three.

Hope Filby, open water swimming ambassador, who volunteers with the RNLI and is the North Wales regional manager for Swim Wales, said: “I am so pleased that the best young Welsh open water swimmers will be coming to Y Bala for the first time this year to compete in Gemau Cymru.

“Offering opportunities to compete at a high level is very important in the process of developing as an athlete and a competitor, giving experiences which will prepare you for competing at international level. I would like to wish all competitors every success. I know Y Bala will welcome you with open arms.”

Welcoming the event to Bala, Lord Elis-Thomas, Minister for Culture, Tourism and Sport and Assembly Member for Dwyfor Meirionnydd said: “Gemau Cymru is an unique opportunity for our young athletes to compete in a variety of sports and competitions.

“It is particularly great to see competitions taking place across Wales, making the most of our magnificent natural environment and with, of course, the Welsh language central to the whole thing.

“What better vista than Llyn Tegid to watch future swimmers and athletes enthusiastically competing. Best of luck to all the competitors and to all those who are going along to support – enjoy.”

Gary Lewis, director of sports at Urdd Gobaith Cymru said, “Because of the Urdd movement’s historic close relationship with the Bala area, we are very pleased to be able to hold two of the Gemau Cymru competitions on Llyn Tegid this year. Working with Wales Triathlon and Swim Wales we are looking forward to taking advantage of the area’s fantastic facilities and amazing views.

“Over the past eight years Gemau Cymru has established itself as an important event in young athletes’ calendar, and we are very pleased with the standard of competitors who have participated over the years – with many now representing their country. This is the main multi-sports event for Wales, and the Urdd are proud to be responsible for organising it.”

To find out more information or enter any of the competitions as a novice, visit