"As active members of the community, we are always searching for ways to make our hometowns better places to live, and this event embodies that spirit," commented Kimberly Cohen, Senior Director of Health & Wellness for the New England YMCA. She continued, "We are proud to partner with the Patriots to help show kids that being healthy and active can be fun."
Josh Kraft, President of the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation, added, "The Patriots and the NFL PLAY 60 Program encourages the next generation of Patriots fans to be healthy and active. The New England Kids Triathlon is a great opportunity to help young Patriots fans be active, and we are proud to bring this program to New England."
According to Tom Gildersleeve, Kid's Triathlon Event Director, the support of community leaders is equally important to the involvement of the kids. Some of the event highlights include:
- Involvement of celebrities from throughout New England. Celebrities will include professional athletes, teachers, firefighters, police officers, musicians, politicians and others. These Celebrity Big Kids™ provide positive role models and help kids realize that regardless of your profession, it is very important to maintain a healthy, active lifestyle.
- A unique event format whereby every kid who finishes is a winner and safety is the top priority. During the 2012 event, more than 600 kids will complete their first triathlon.
- An innovative group fundraising program will generate donations in excess of $4,000 for local teams, schools, churches and community organizations. Through this effort, every team that registers more than 10 kids receives a donation of $10 per child to the related organization.
- YMCA Associations from throughout New England have put together a unique four-week Introduction to Triathlon Program in 12 cities. These locations will prepare more than 250 kids for the race. Each course meets once a week and is run by certified personal trainers. The curriculum was developed specifically for kids by a USAT Level I Certified Triathlon Coach and focuses on the four components of a triathlon, proper nutrition and conditioning. The courses are free of charge and open to the public.
About the New England Kids Triathlon: Organized through Kids Triathlon, Inc. (a 501c(3) organization based in Jacksonville, Fl), the New England Kids Triathlon is the primary fundraising event for a year-around outreach program to introduce kids to the benefits of a healthy, active lifestyle. All activities are coordinated by an organizing committee and the event is 100% staffed by volunteers. During 2012, more than $20,000 and 500 hours of help will be donated to "healthy kid" initiatives across New England.
Schedule of Events for July 21 & 22, 2012: Race weekend is spread over parts of two days. The festivities kick-off Saturday afternoon at 4:00p.m. with packet pick-up and the event expo. Saturday is highlighted by a pep rally (starts at 5:30p.m.) featuring welcomes from local officials, introductions of the 2012 Celebrity Big Kids and a speech by Almon Gunter, a world-class track star and motivational speaker. Sunday morning is race day with transition opening at 6:30a.m. and the races starting at 8:00a.m. The event concludes with the awards ceremony at 11:00a.m. on Sunday.
What is a Kids Triathlon? Triathlon is one of the fastest-growing sports in the world, and kids triathlons are a vital part of this trend. Race distances are set by USATriathlon (the governing body of the sport under the United States Olympic Committee) to be challenging, yet achievable and every race consists of four components – swimming, biking, running and transitions. There are two divisions in kids races with the juniors (10 years old & under) completing a 100 yard swim; three mile bike and half mile run. The seniors (ages 11 – 15) complete double the distances (200 yard swim; six mile bike; and one mile run).
About the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation: The purpose of the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation is to support programs that aid the youth and families of the New England region by assisting programs that foster cultural diversity, education, family and health and fitness. To learn more, visit www.patriots.com/community.
Event Website: NewEnglandKidsTriathlon.org
Event Director, New England Kids Triathlon
Office: (904) 448 - 2707
Cell: (904) 610 - 9921
Senior Director of Health & Wellness, Hockomock Area YMCA
Phone: (774) 571 - 7273
Sarah Leong Oliver
Community Relations Coordinator, New England Patriots
Phone: (508) 326-4336