When the idea of raising funds to sponsor youth in endurance events started taking shape, we hoped to have ten to fifteen 7th-12th graders participate. As we began presenting to the youth organization with whom we launched the program, the response was such that we thought we might have to raise a few hundred dollars extra to fully fund all the youth.
Now, the outcome has far exceeded our wildest dreams. After completing presentations to all grades, we have nearly 50 young ladies and gentlemen signed up. Of course, we assume some of them will be weeded out as the first meetings are held. Even so, with these numbers, if only a third follow through, we will have to find more resources. That we have gone from having this big cash reserve to being strapped for sufficient funding is truly awesome. And having the opportunity to introduce more than a dozen youth to endurance sports is exciting.
The future potential for this program is limited only by our creativity and drive. Over time, the goal is to be able to help youth who might never be able to participate in triathlon and develop in them a lifelong passion for the sport. This could mean nothing more than providing guidance and motivation. For others, it might mean providing coaching, equipment, and entry fees. A program that bridges the gap between cultures, both social and economic, is a perfect fit for triathlon.
Stay tuned for future updates on this amazing grass roots effort. We will form the team and commence training in early 2007. The kids will start racing in May and should have a triathlon under their belts by July. By the end of summer, we'll know how many we have hooked for life.