The , a charity event that combines fun and fitness for kids, announces its third annual children’s sporting event, to be held at the / campus on July 14, 2012.
Tree City Triathlon organizers are now registering participants, who must be between the ages of 5 and 17 years old.
Event founder and coordinator Maria McCarty says the swim-bike-run event is designed to be enjoyable for all participants.
“We do our best to make sure it’s challenging, and fun. Almost all of the first-year athletes came back and participated last year, so I think they enjoyed it,” McCarty said. “It’s a timed event, but we don’t emphasize finishing times. Some of the kids are competitive, others are just there for fun.”
Course lengths and start times vary by age group. The swimming portion of the triathlon is held in the indoor pool at Theodore Roosevelt High School. Co-coordinator Susan Adair explained that participants who are not strong swimmers can use Boogie Boards during the swim portion of the event.
“The important thing is that children who want to participate, can. They don’t have to feel like they’re Olympic-caliber athletes; it’s a fun, encouraging atmosphere,” Adair said.
While the triathlon promotes fun and fitness, its primary goal is to raise money for the Kids Soles Fund. Kids Soles, created in collaboration with , purchases new athletic shoes from All Pro Sports Center, which are then are given to underprivileged children in Portage County.
McCarty says she is delighted to work with All Pro Sports Center, located in University Plaza in Kent, and grateful to all of the many local organizations and individuals who have supported the event over the past two years.
“Our sponsors are awesome! In the past two events, our participants and their families have also been very positive. The schools and the city administration have been great to work with, and thanks to everyone involved, we’ve been able to put about 130 pairs of shoes on kids’ feet so far. I would love to double that number this year,” McCarty said.
“In this economy especially, one pair of shoes often makes the difference in whether a child can participate in an organized sport,” she said.
The Kids Soles Fund has provided new shoes to children participating in soccer, track, lacrosse, football, volleyball, softball, and other athletic endeavors.
Various opportunities are available for sponsors who wish to support Kids Soles and be recognized during the event. One hundred percent of the proceeds from The Tree City Triathlon are donated to Kids Soles.
The first 125 participants receive a T-shirt, a medal and a race “goodie” bag.
Participants are divided by age groups and course lengths vary accordingly. A description of the courses, age divisions, and more information is available on the website, www.treecitytriathlon.com
Those interested in participating in or volunteering during the event and anyone willing to contribute to the non-profit Kids Soles Fund should visit www.treecitytriathlon.com for more information.