A Manitoba centre focussed on improving the lives of people with developmental disabilities is hoping to walk, swim, and bike their way to more independence.

St. Amant is hosting their first-ever virtual triathlon to purchase more specialized bicycles for their residents, something that has the head of the company jumping on board with.

"St. Amant provides services to hundreds of kids and adults with developmental disabilities and autism," says John Leggat, the President and CEO of St. Amant in Winnipeg.

The centre employs over 1,800 people and supports people across the province. 

"I always say when I'm welcoming our new employees that I have the best job ever. No matter how tough a day is, at the end of the day you can look back on it and say, it was a day that had meaning and purpose."

Leggat says knowing they help some of the most vulnerable kids and adults in the province, especially during the pandemic is heartwarming. 

"We have an amazing workforce and they have stepped up time and time again. It's our staff that have made the whole pandemic situation work, as they work in full PPE every day."

The upcoming triathlon fundraiser is a first for St. Amant, one that Leggat is joining in on.

"This year because of the pandemic it's a virtual triathlon. There's a group of 14 of us and we're all doing it. It'll be the week of June 26 until July 4."

For Leggat this means a 5 km walk, 750 m swim, and a 20 km bike ride. He can complete these different activities throughout the week of the event.

"So far through pledges, we've raised almost $40,000 just in our team alone and there are other people who are registering too."

All funds raised at this event will help purchase customized bikes for people supported by St. Amant to enhance their well-being and independence.

"We have a large number of people we interact with and touch on a regular basis. They've been there with us throughout the pandemic and I just want to say how much I appreciate them and our staff."