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Triathlons for children have become tremendously popular in recent days, drawing participants of all ages. USA Triathlon, the sport’s governing body, said that in 2008 it had about 23,500 members who were under 18, up 36 percent from 2006. To complement the growing interest in triathlons for kids USAT has recently began a specialized Youth and Junior coach certification and USAT sponsored camps have sprung up in many local areas.
The earliest triathlon race series for children, the IronKids events, began in 1985 with relatively short distances at two levels, based on age. The 2013 IronKids schedule in North America will feature over 30 events, allowing the opportunity for young athletes to compete in multiple races within their region from the months of April through November, with races being held in a diverse number of markets across the country. This year Children ages 6-15 will compete in one of three age-appropriate distances. Each triathlon in this series includes weekend events for the whole family with activities and information events encouraging physical activity in children. The IronKids mission “is to inspire and motivate youth through sport to lead an active, positive and healthy lifestyle”.
The following are some kid triathlon camps and programs that are offered in the Washington DC and outlying area:
- JRU Coaching will be holding a Camp for Kids (C4K) clinic in Leesburg, Virginia to kick off their summer USAT sponsored TriCamp4Kids. The clinics will be held in February, March, and April. More info can be found on their website at http://www.tricamp4kids.com.
- Achieve Kids Tri, Inc. is a non-profit organization, operating in Washington DC, that helps under-privileged and at-risk youth enjoy a healthy and active lifestyle. They will be holding camps at three locations July 18- July 27. A major component of the ACHIEVE program is to expose kids to the many benefits that come from participation in endurance sports. For more info visit their website at http://achievekidstri.org
- The Columbia Youth Triathlon Camp is specifically designed for youth ages 7-14 years old who want learn how to do a triathlon. Kids will learn everything they need to know to complete a KIDS Triathlon and have FUN doing it! The camp will take place in July and more information and be found at http://www.tri2bemore.com/index.php/events/kids-tri-camp.
- Moms Who TRI, out of Burke, Virginia conducts a unique, ongoing program that offers triathlon and running specific skill techniques, basic safety issues, workouts for swimming, biking, and running, and works towards safely competing in age appropriate races. For more info check out http://www.momswhotri.com.