Fair warning, put on some sunglasses before visiting this blog: Fun2TriClub
This is a triathlon program for 8-15 year olds, run by NCCP Certified Competition Coach Lorri Zagar, in Caledon, Ontario. They meet once a week for bike & run training, and all (or almost all) of the athletes are in a competitive swim program.
Lorri made a great presentation back in April at our Coach Seminar day, detailing her program and her approach to youth development. Lorri started this program last year (Spring 2007), and she did a great job of mixing skill development, personal responsibility, teamwork and fun. She has been the victim of her own success this year; parents signed up so many athletes that they had to split the group over two nights, and both sessions are maxed out. Like most coaches, Lorri juggles coaching and race support with a full time career and parenting duties, but she makes it look easy.
It's great to see programs like this develop and thrive. I've lost count of the number of adults who said they wished they had programs like this when they were starting out in triathlon. We have a lot of quality coaches in Ontario, and this sort of approach could work almost anywhere. Coaches: If you've been thinking about something like this, stop thinking about it, and start doing it. It's hard work, but it's very rewarding. Coaches like Lorri would be more than happy to have you come to a practice or two to pick up some new ideas.
Best of luck to the Fun2TriClub this season. We'll be looking for those pink shirts at the races!
(Message for Myles: I haven't fallen out of the kayak yet)