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photo: Jason Mucher / USAT Communications
Elite Triathletes Hang Out With Kids in D.C.
A number of Washington, D.C., and Virginia youth got a treat Friday when their summer triathlon camp was visited by a group of elite triathletes — and the city mayor — as the Nation’s Capital officially kicked off Olympic Day.
Olympic and world champions from countries around the world shared their experiences, gave training and racing tips, and helped the kids as they navigated through demonstrations of the swim, bike and run events at the Turkey Thicket Recreation Center.
The kids, part of the ACHIEVE Kids Tri program and Arlington Triathlon Club, are learning about the sport of triathlon through separate summer and school programs. They will have a front row seat Sunday when age groupers and elites race through the city as part of the Dextro Energy ITU World Championship Series.
“Any time you can get involved with kids in the sport of triathlon, getting them started and getting them comfortable around swimming, biking and running, I think it’s great,” said three-time Olympian Hunter Kemper, who was among 14 U.S. elites at the event. “These events are great, and the kids are real excited. To introduce them to our sport and for them to see our passion for it. I’m excited to be a part of that.”
The activities also included a proclamation from D.C., Mayor Adrian Fenty — himself a competitive age group triathlete — that declared Friday, Olympic Day in the city of Washington, D.C.
“I think this is a great opportunity to spread awareness of triathlon and to give these kids the opportunity to learn about nutrition and staying fit and setting a goal,” said 2008 U.S. Olympian Sarah Haskins.
The 2009 ACHIEVE summer camp will take place June 15-July 24 at three sites in Washington, D.C.: Turkey Thicket Recreation Center, Kenilworth Parkside Recreation Center, and Benning Park Community Center. The program runs Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. On the final day of camp, July 24, kids will compete in a USAT-sanctioned triathlon.
About Arlington Triathlon Club
The Arlington Triathlon Club is a free USA Triathlon-related youth triathlon development program organized for students of the Arlington, Virginia public schools. An 8-10 week developmental program teaches elementary and middle school children ages 6 – 14 how to swim-bike-run their way to fitness, health, and fun. The parents and coaches raise all needed funds to cover uniforms, race registrations, equipment, etc. The coaches are all certified by USA Triathlon and they donate their time. Each workout begins with a club chant and a short talk on nutrition, hydration, balanced lifestyles, sportsmanship, and other important topics.
About ACHIEVE Kids Tri, Inc.
ACHIEVE Kids Tri, Inc. is a Washington, D.C.-based 501(c)(3) organization that was founded in 2007 by Charles (Chuck) Brodsky, founder of The Nation's Triathlon™ with the support of Washington, DC Mayor, Adrian Fenty, an avid triathlete, and Washington, DC's Department of Parks and Recreation. Through its programs in Washington, DC and Houston, Texas, ACHIEVE connects youth with healthy lifestyle activities and choices and teaches them exercise skills that last a lifetime. Achieve summer camp programs are USAT-certified training centers where all kids become USAT members and compete in a USAT-sanctioned Kids Triathlon at the end of camp. Sponsors for ACHIEVE DC include McDonald’s and The Bike Lane.
The elite races begin Sunday with the men at 9:10 a.m. ET, followed by the women at 11:45 a.m. Follow the action live at www.universalsports.com or www.triathlon.org/tv.
Learn more about the Dextro Energy ITU World Championship Series event in Washington, D.C.