Friday, November 12, 2010

Growing the Sport - TriJuniors

Before I was a professional triathlete, I was a school teacher. I spent 6 years teaching, mostly elementary school, but one year of high school as well. After leaving racing, I came back full-circle to teaching again, starting the first junior triathlon team in San Diego.

I knew the sport didn't need another pro-triathlete, it needed leadership, and I felt the most qualified for the job. With Junior Nationals here in San Diego, in 2010 and 2011, it seemed the obvious timing to make it happen.

When I started the program, I faced many challenges, from competing with high school sports, to the costs involved in a sport like this. I've made the sport and our team a fun experience, so competing against other clubs and school sports hasn't been a problem, and I actually encourage our kids to do the single sports as well.

But costs, and helping families overcome the prohibitiveness of starting triathlon, considering buying a bike, wetsuit, helmet, goggles, clothes, etc, still continue to be a challenge. In general, no parent wants to drop $1000+ on a bike, just to see if their child will like the sport.

One of the main goals I've had since the start was to eliminate or greatly reduce these start-up costs, and I'm very proud to announce that in a partnership with Focus Bikes, I'm now able to offer any athlete who joins our program, a road bike for their use, FREE OF CHARGE!

If they are a member of our team, in good standing, the bike is their's to use. We are a team whose main race goals are centered around draft-legal triathlon, with road bikes, and the skills required to be successful require using a road bike, not triathlon bikes. Focus Bikes has made this possible with some incredible bikes and technology for the kids, which will perform at a high level in all races we do, from draft-legal to non-drafting.

This is an exciting time for the sport, for TriJuniors, and myself as a coach, trying to lead the way for youth and juniors.

If you know a teenager, (13-19), who might be interested in our TriJuniors program, have them visit our website,, and contact us there. If you love this sport as much as I do, then you understand what a great opportunity this is!

Coach Vance

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