Thursday, July 20, 2017

Race4Chase set August 5 at YMCA Camp Sloper - 500 plus kids participating

August 5 at Camp Sloper
“I am truly inspired, humbled, thankful, validated and amazed,” said John Myers, Executive Director of the Southington-Cheshire Communities YMCA. “And those are just some of the emotions I felt while going through the recent Race4Chase, 26 Day-4 Miles Per Day, $10,000 Challenge.

Running, walking, biking, swimming, often with Myers, they raised over $15,000! 

True to Southington form, when there's a cause that resonates and makes an impact on our local children and families, our communities rise to the challenge.”  

On August  5th some 500 five hundred young  triathletes will demonstrate their skills at the CT finale at Southington’s YMCA Camp Sloper. This year the number of program sites increased by five: three in South Carolina and two in Rhode Island for a total of 20 including 15 in Connecticut, which each USAT-sanctioned triathlon race in their respective states.

“This year, our 4th consecutive in hosting the state finals in Southington, we had 31 youngsters in our local 6-week training program”, YMCA Community Development Director Shannon Eterginio said.

The goal-oriented summer program offers boys and girls expert instruction in swimming, cycling, running, strength training and flexibility while teaching them the fundamentals of good nutrition, under the supportive guidance of coaches, lifeguards and instructors.

Eterginio noted: “Our triathletes are on site from 9:00 to 11:30 a.m., rain or shine. They train in the swimming pool, on bikes and running.”  Health & Wellness Coordinator, Jolene Miceli, said. “We make it fun for the kids with creative training techniques, e.g. playing  games as they sprint. Training becomes fun.”  

Speakers inspire the kids: SPD Officer, Christopher Lamarre talked to them about bicycling safety, etiquette and the importance of wearing a helmet. Carina Halloran, a two-time IRONMAN® competitor, talked to the kids about working hard, but also having fun as she shared some of her IRONMAN experience, showing them her first wet-suit, a few of her medals and the importance of eating right. 

The Race4Chase Youth Triathlon program was developed by the family of Chase Kowalski, who was tragically killed in the Sandy Hook shooting. Spearheaded by Chase’s mother, Rebecca, the program provides kids ages 6 to 12 with a safe, healthy non-competitive environment to discover the sport of triathlon, bringing together kids from diverse backgrounds.

Incredibly committed to this program, Myers pointed out that 100% of the funding comes from the community, e.g. on learning that one young participant didn’t have a bike, Deputy Chief William Palmieri, he arrived the next day with a brand new bike for that child to ride!  His own contribution. Another huge gift: TOPS IGA in Plantsville donated healthy snacks and drinks for the children.

Columnist and community service consultant Dick Fortunato welcomes comments at

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