Leslie Moreland has always been active.

A former competitive swimmer, the 26-year-old joined a triathlon club “for the social aspect” when she moved to Ottawa last October to work as a program officer for WaterCan.

This weekend, she’s found a way to combine her two passions — sport and bringing clean water to African countries — at the National Capital Triathlon.


On Saturday, Moreland will compete in her first Olympic distance triathlon — a 1,500 metre swim, 40 km cycle and a 10 km run — in support of clean water, improved sanitation and health and hygiene education in East Africa.

So far, she’s raised $1,400, which will give over 50 people access to clean water, improved sanitation and health and hygiene for life.

She's not alone, she said.

“I know of a lot of people who use athletics to raise money for different causes,” she said. “It’s a great way to raise funds and to get people rallied around a cause.”

Julie Hakim will be participating in the same race in honour of her five training partners, who were seriously injured after being struck by a vehicle on March Road last week.

Four of the five injured cyclists were set to compete in the National Capital Triathlon this weekend.

"This accident really shocked many of us, especially in the triathlon and cycling communities,” said race co-director Katherine Calder-Becker.

Hakim will wear racing bibs, numbered 1 to 5, for Rob Wein, Mark White, Rob Harland, Cathy Anderson, and Hilary McNamee and No. 6 for herself.

On behalf of the injured cyclists, organizers will be accepting cycling-related safety equipment for the Ottawa Boys and Girls Club at the event site.

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