Leff Family Foundation Helps Launch Youth Triathlon Program in NJ, PA
by USA Triathlon Foundation
A new youth triathlon program will soon be opening pathways to swim, bike and run for kids in New Jersey and Philadelphia.
The program is made possible through a partnership between the USA Triathlon Foundation, Cynthia and Todd Leff of the Leff Family Foundation and John Cassimatis, past president of the USA Triathlon Foundation Board of Trustees.
“We had many of the same ideas, so we decided to team up to develop this program,” said Todd Leff, who leads the Leff Family Foundation’s charitable efforts. “It will be a first of its kind to focus on introducing triathlon to elementary and middle school students in target markets, to provide coaches and structured triathlon training and then to culminate in the participants racing in a local triathlon.”
The Leff Family Foundation will provide three years of support for coaches, school outreach, training programs and transportation to races, as well as offset entry fees.
Todd became involved in the triathlon community about 12 years ago, when he was in his early 50s. After a challenge and five weeks of training, he raced his first triathlon and was instantly hooked.
He says racing has given him a reason to stay active and focus on fitness as he gets older, as well as build mental discipline and endurance.
“I think it has actually given me an advantage in business situations knowing I could outlast a situation or competitor, because nothing could be harder than a triathlon,” Todd said.
The Leff Family Foundation has a mission of focusing on programs that promote youth activity, so developing a youth triathlon initiative is a natural fit.
“We want kids to get outside, enjoy competition and fitness, and make triathlon a more inclusive sport,” Todd said.
He hopes that the program will allow more kids to experience the pride and joy that comes with completing a multisport event, as well as grow the future of the sport and potentially pave the way to higher education.
“With women’s triathlon on the path to being an NCAA sport, we hope youth programs will open up the way for some female athletes to start in our program and ultimately maybe get a scholarship to college,” Todd said.
For those like Todd who have benefitted greatly from multisport, he says the USA Triathlon Foundation provides a way to give back to the sport that’s given him so much.
The USA Triathlon Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and the charitable arm of USA Triathlon. With its mission to transform lives through sport by providing opportunities to swim, bike and run, the Foundation serves to generate a greater impact on the multisport community through charitable giveback and grants that advance the Foundation's three pillars: (1) Encourage youth participation; (2) Inspire adaptive athletes; and (3) Ignite Olympic/Paralympic dreams. Since the Foundation was established in 2014, it has provided millions of dollars in grants to organizations About the USA Triathlon Foundation