TriLatino Triathlon Club Has a Unique Junior Program

I had heard about TriLatino’s Junior Triathlon Program, but I didn’t know much about it. So, recently I had the opportunity to talk with Lisa Kay of TriLatino. Here’s what we talked about:

Me: When was the program first started?

Lisa: 2011 

Me: Why was it started?

Lisa: We wanted to uplift our communities and empower teens by teaching them about healthy living and the triathlon sport. We were seeing the rise of diabetes, obesity and other high risk conditions that typically affect our community.

So we started the TriLatino Juniors program to go directly into the schools and help educate the students. We have about 15+ students from the Bronx Academy of Letters (BAL) explore the sport of triathlon. It is an after school program and covers life skills, discipline to complete the goals they set out for themselves, teaches them about proper nutrition, gets them fit through weekly training sessions (swim, bike, run ) and, most importantly, shows them how all of these things add up to create a positive long term impact on their lives.

Me: How many students have you worked with through the years? 

Lisa: We’ve worked with more than 100 kids since the program started. 

Me: Have any gone on to continue with triathlons?

Lisa: We had two juniors join the adult team to continue racing with others still running or exercising on their own while in college.

Me: What has this program done for the kids?

Lisa: It is awesome to see the transformation of the students throughout the season. Many learn how to swim and ride bikes for the first time. With the training, they learn discipline and how to work together and support each other. So the students go from novices to endurance athletes by the end of the program. They have direct training from USAT certified coaches for a 16-week triathlon training program. These are skills that take them through high school, through college and beyond.

Me: Where are you going from here?

Lisa: Well, we would love to expand the program to help even more students through additional funding. We are a donations based program and cover 100 percent of the training and equipment costs. It is our aim to keep pushing this amazing program forward and create even more training opportunities for youth. 

To learn more about the Junior program or TriLatino Triathlon Club, visit https://www.trilatino.org/.

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