The atmosphere at Valparaiso High School was full of excitement and anticipation on Saturday June 15 as children of all ages lined up at the starting line of this year’s Valparaiso Junior Triathlon. When the timer began, the kids sprang into action, first swimming 150 yards, biking around the high school and finally racing to the finish line on the Valparaiso High School Track. This year’s Junior Triathlon was organized by the Valparaiso Swim Club and was put into place to get kids to try something new.
“Our theme for this year is: it’s not always about winning, sometimes it is just about trying,” Valparaiso Swim Club Director and event organizer Leslie McCall said. “This year we really wanted to open up the event to a well-rounded group of kids just so they can try something new. This event is a nice introduction to the sport of Triathlon and a lot of the kids competing today were first timers last year, and now they are back again! They learned to really like the sport and that’s why they keep coming back. We have tons and tons of new kids who have never tried something like this before, so this is all really about exposing kids to something new and fun, and a great way to get out and participate in the community.”
This Junior Triathlon is very unique because it is the only local event in which kids get the opportunity to compete in such a challenging race with their peers. The Junior Triathlon is not only a way to get kids interested in running, swimming and biking, but also teaches kids a little bit about perseverance, self-confidence and hard work. Overall, the triathlon was a great experience for those participating and hopefully sparked an interest of the sport in those participating.
The following organizations helped the Valpo Swim Club make this event possible: Family Express, Figure 8 Brewery, Wal-Mart, Culvers, Kernels and Korns, The Extra Mile, Smiles by Arnolds and Associates, Broadway café, The Pickford Family and The First Union Methodist Church.