TriColumbia Leads The Way In Triathlon Instruction

Boy runningLearn2Tri, the first program of its kind in the Mid-Atlantic, was conceived by TriColumbia as a way combat the rapid rise in obesity and inactivity among youth both inside and outside our schools.  This program enables kids to experience the benefits of swimming, biking and running, which are natural, high energy, cross training activities that keep individuals motivated, minimize injuries and provide total body fitness.  Triathlon is a lifelong activity that can be enjoyed by kids and families, who want to lead active lives, stay fit, and have fun together.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Maryland’s obesity rate was close to 25 percent in 2010, about a quarter of Maryland’s residents. Furthermore, across the United States, only 3.8 percent of elementary schools, 7.9 percent of middle schools and 2.1 percent of high schools provide daily physical education or its equivalent for the entire school year. Twenty-two percent of schools do not require students to take any physical education at all. It has been proven that regular physical activity in childhood and adolescence improves strength and endurance, helps build healthy bones and muscles, helps control weight, reduces anxiety and stress, and increases self-esteem; all goals of this triathlon instruction program.

TriColumbia is now working in partnership with the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) in the implementation of triathlon instruction in elementary, middle and high schools during scheduled physical education courses in an effort to educate students on the experience and lifestyle benefits of triathlon. TriColumbia is integrating Alive with Mission Me (AMM) in-school curriculum with the aim of standardizing activities in the local public school systems.  "Our curriculum has been tested in public schools and in after-school initiatives, "said Valerie Gattis, AMM's Chief Executive Officer.  "Partnering with TriColumbia gives us the opportunity to introduce AMM to a new region and organization  that shares our passion of getting kids excited about finding the fun in physical activity."

Swimming InstructionMary Schiller of the HCPSS Partnerships Office recently said, “The HCPSS partnership with TriColumbia provides a new opportunity for our students to be active in a fun and exciting way,”  “Students will learn that the sport of triathlon is as much about embracing a healthy lifestyle and having a can-do attitude as it is about the finish line.”

“Our goal is for students to develop the skills, knowledge and confidence to carry on when they leave Howard County Public Schools,” said Children bikingJackie French, Instructional Facilitator of Physical Education for HCPSS. “This unique program further contributes to that goal by providing a foundation for youth to build an active lifestyle that will last a lifetime.”

The Learn2Tri Program reaches all students. An instructional assistant says of a severely autistic student, "I have never seen her smile until she came to PE. She never rode a bike before but she is making great strides!

Contact TriColumbia for more information or to become a sponsor.



Howard County Students Get Fitness Lesson For Life - WBAL News Report

WBAL Learn2Tri Story

Horizon Foundation LogoCareFirst LogoThe McDonalds Family Restaurants of Greater Baltimore

Sponsors of the Learn2Tri Program include The Horizon Foundation, CareFirst BlueCross Blue Shield, The McDonalds Family Restaurants of Greater Baltimore, USA Triathlon Mid-Atlantic, The Columbia Foundation and Howard County General Hospital. Partners in the program include Trek Bicycles, Race Pace Bicycles, The Columbia Association, and Lock Laces.

Here is what students are saying about the Learn2Tri Program:

“It was a big challenge for us, but we came through.  We’re more athletic and stronger.”

“Running four laps, that was the hardest thing I think I’ve ever had to do, I was so tired, but so proud.  I had never thought of myself as a runner before.”

“We all support each other, it was fun.  It helps you bond with people around you and that makes the experience enjoyable.”

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