Disadvantaged kids to get equipment to race in August Junior Olympic Festival
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (May 5, 2009) -- USA Triathlon and nine area Wal-Mart stores have teamed up to provide 25 kids from Colorado Springs a prize package of sports equipment that will outfit them for the 2009 USA Triathlon Junior Olympic Festival in August in Colorado Springs.
The Festival – scheduled for Memorial Park’s Prospect Lake on August 8 – will feature triathlon races for kids aged 7-15. Also part of the day’s events are national championships for Youth Elite (age 13-15) and Junior Elite (age 16-19) athletes. More details on the weekend are available below.
The USAT/Wal-Mart program is designed to help kids in need and encourage them to get involved in the healthy lifestyle of triathlon, said USAT National Events Director Jeff Dyrek. “We are excited to work with an organization like Wal-Mart that has a history of giving back to the local community. Together, we hope to encourage kids to live a healthy lifestyle and capitalize on Colorado Springs’ reputation of being one of the most active cities in the country.”
The 25 kids will be selected for the program over the next month. Details on the process are still to be announced. Each participant will each receive a bike, bike helmet, running shoes, swimming goggles, and sunglasses courtesy of Wal-Mart. A racing uniform is also being designed for the kids to wear in the race. Plans are underway to connect the kids with local triathlon coaches for training to ensure they are adequately prepared for the August race.
The participating Wal-Mart stores are also encouraging their employees to get involved in the effort, either as volunteers or by forming team relay teams to compete against the other stores on race day. “The emphasis is on fighting obesity, family, and community involvement,” said Dyrek. “It’s not about competition, but participation.”
Dyrek hopes to expand this program regionally and ultimately implement it on a national level.
2009 USA Triathlon Junior Olympic Festival
For the second year, USA Triathlon is bringing its Youth National Championship and Youth Elite and Junior Elite National Championships to Colorado Springs as part of the Junior Olympic Festival.
The August 8 event will feature races for kids aged 7-19, with awards across six divisions, plus an open division for kids just looking to participate. “Even though the youth race is a championship for the 7 to 15 year olds, we are incorporating an open division for those kids just looking to participate. We want to remove the pressure of them competing in a championship event,” said USAT National Events Director Jeff Dyrek.
All action will take place in and around Memorial Park downtown, with the swim leg in Prospect Lake.
Youth Age Group Championship and Open Race (ages 7-15)
Ages 7-8 and 9-10
Swim 100 meters, bike 5 kilometers, run 1 kilometer
Ages 11-12 and 13-15
Swim 200 meters, bike 10 kilometers, run 2 kilometer
Youth Elite Championship (ages 13-15; draft legal)
Swim 375 meters, bike 10 kilometers, run 2.5 kilometers
Junior Elite Championship (ages 16-19; draft legal)
Swim 750 meters, bike 20 kilometers, run 5 kilometers
Pre-event activities on Friday, August 7 will include a pancake breakfast followed by event registration at the USOC Olympic Training Center. USA Triathlon Coaching Education will also be conducting a kids and parents clinic at the race site to offer tips on triathlon and orientation on the course.
Members of the U.S. National Team and U.S. Olympic Team are planning to provide support and encouragement to the kids on race day.
Get more details on the championship. Or send an email for registration questions.
About USA Triathlon
USA Triathlon is proud to serve as the national governing body for triathlon - the fastest growing sport in the U.S. - as well as duathlon, aquathlon and winter triathlon in the United States. USAT sanctions 2,500 races and connects with more than 115,000 members each year, making it the largest multisport organization in the world. In addition to its work with athletes, coaches, and race directors on the grassroots level, USAT provides leadership and support to elite athletes competing at international events, including World Championships, Pan American Games, and the Olympic Games.