By Chris Bavender
The 11th annual Kids TRI for Kids is set to kick off in late May, with the Zionsville event scheduled for July 4 at the Zionsville Aquatics Center. When the event started in 2008, it was a fundraiser for a local USA Swim Team.
“Bryan Boggs, Brad Osborne and Ed Merkling came together and started Kids SPRINT – Swim Pedal Run Indy Northside Triathlon. We had 80 kids and raised about $4,000 for some local charities,” said Meg Gates Osborne, Kids TRI for Kids Triathlon Series founder and executive director. “Bryan had a small Zionsville neighborhood triathlon, so we combined these and added one at IUPUI and started Kids Racing for Kids, which we changed to Kids TRI for Kids. We started supporting Best Buddies of Indiana, too.”
There are now six events each summer:
- May 27 – Southport High School
- June 16 – Warren Central High School
- July 4 – Zionsville High School
- July 28 – TRI Indy at White River Park and Canal
- Aug. 10 – Riviera Club
- Aug. 25 – Greenwood Freedom Springs Aquatics Park
“Each facility and race director provides a race based on their facility. We work to keep the lengths shorter and manageable for the kids based on their ages,” Osborne said. “Our goal is for each child to be successful and build confidence in themselves.”
Each race chooses a recipient for the race funds. Money also is given to Best Buddies of Indiana at the end of the season.
The event has grown from one race with 80 participants and $4,000 raised that first year to six races with 800 participants and $40,000 raised in 2018.
Osborne said Kids TRI for Kids is about inspiring youth to have “confidence in themselves.”
“Not for winning but finishing. We realize that it takes repetition to create habits,” she said. “We hope that the kids will do five to six races a season, creating more confidence in themselves. They will learn how to do transitions better, how to race better. We offer duathlons for non-swimmers, too.”
For more, visit kidstriforkids.com.