Kids TRI for Kids returns July 4

Local children compete at a past Kids TRI for Kids event. (Submitted photo)

After missing the 2020 season, Kids TRI for Kids, a series of triathlons for children ages 7 to 14, is set to return beginning in July.

Kids TRI for Kids aims to teach kids the value of fun competition and building affordable, healthy fitness options. Kids TRI for Kids offers triathlon options that include swimming, biking and running. There also is a duathlon option consisting of  running and biking events.

The Kids TRI for Kids schedule for 2021 is:

  • July 4 at Zionsville Community High School
  • Aug. 1 at Tri Indy: White River State Park
  • Aug. 15 at Riviera Club
  • Aug. 29 in Greenwood at Freedom Springs Aquatics Park

Timetables and distances vary by age group and by location and facilities, but will conform to USAT Youth Triathlon guidelines and regulations. All races cost $30 with a family discount option. Kids completing their first race receive a Kids TRI for Kids T-shirt. After their second race, kids receive a KTFK water bottle. The third race participants receive a sling bag, and kids who finish their fourth race receive a trophy.

Meg Gates Osborne, a swim coach and former IU swimmer, started Kids TRI for Kids in 2008 to expand fitness awareness to all kids. Gates Osborne said approximately 8,000 kids have participated in Kids TRI for Kids since it began.

“We felt like a lot of these kids were getting zeroed into one sport real early and that they should have some cross-training and develop other sports (skills),” Gates Osborne said.

In addition to building confidence, Gates Osborne said the events help fight obesity by keeping kids active and introducing them to new methods of fitness.

Kids TRI for Kids also partners with Indianapolis-area children-focused charities, such as Best Buddies, a nonprofit that helps build 1-to-1 friendships and employment options for individuals who have intellectual and developmental disabilities, to raise funds.

“Every race we give a portion back to an organization in that community,” Gates Osborne said. “My mom and dad were always engaged and always giving back. I think (I was) taught that lesson from them.”

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