Top News

New fundraiser will give kids chance to showcase skills while raising money for Lunenburg County YMCA

Benjamin Wile and Lily Chapman are both looking forward to the first-ever Kids Triathlon being held by the Lunenburg County YMCA.
Benjamin Wile and Lily Chapman are both looking forward to the first-ever Kids Triathlon being held by the Lunenburg County YMCA. - Peter Simpson

Trying a triathlon

In an effort to raise program funds and provide a fun event for children to get active before they return to school, the Lunenburg County YMCA will hold its first-ever Kids Triathlon on Sept. 2.

To be held at the Lunenburg County Lifestyle Centre (LCLC), the triathlon will be comprised of a 15-minute swim, a 15-minute fun run, then a 15-minute bicycle ride.

The latter two segments will be held in the LCLC’s back parking lot, rain or shine.

YMCA centre manager Kim Roy said the triathlon is open to boys and girls aged five to 12. Sixty participants are expected. Roy said no pressure or lofty expectations will be placed on participants.

“The kids have to be able to swim without an adult, but they can wear a life jacket. And if they aren’t comfortable on a bicycle, they can make use of training wheels or they can use a scooter,” she said.

“The event will be completely adaptable to all kids, so if they have difficulty running, they can walk, and they can stop and rest at any point during each of the three 15-minute segments.”

Children who rely on wheelchairs or other mobility devices are also encouraged to participate.

Roy said all finishers will receive ribbons, and there’s a chance placement medals and YMCA swag might also be presented to participants, but organizers still have to finalize sponsorship details.

“We’re hoping individuals and companies will step forward to sponsor one, two or all three triathlon segments. They’ll be able to display their banners and receive recognition at the event,” said Roy.

‘I can’t wait’

Lily Chapman, 9, keeps busy doing crafts and learning gymnastics at the YMCA, and she just started horseback riding lessons, yet the active young girl is looking forward to the triathlon.

“I like running, biking and swimming, so I can’t wait to do all those things together,” said Lily.

And she’s in heavy training for the event.

“When I go into the gym I always get a ball and kick it across the gym floor, then I see if I can run fast enough to beat the ball to the other side,” she said, explaining her unique training sessions.

Benjamin Wile, 7, is also eager to participate in the triathlon.

“Right now I run, swim, scooter and bike a lot. I am entering the triathlon because I want to help the YMCA raise money and because I love sports. I play soccer and some basketball. Playing sports makes me stronger and more energized. And I have lots of fun,” said Benjamin.

Asked if he will finish all three legs of the triathlon, Benjamin answered with an emphatic and confident, “Yes, I will, because I’m super good at running and swimming.”

Helping kids

Roy said each triathlon participant pays a $15 entry fee, with all proceeds going to the YMCA’s Strong Kids Campaign.

“All the money raised here stays in the community, enabling us to offer continuous youth programming at the YMCA on High Street and at our Youth Centre on King Street,” said Roy.

The assortment of programs ranges from goal-setting to cooking, games, conditioning, sports and the aptly named Youth Zone, which offers a safe environment for youth to socialize with peers.

All drop-in youth programs are free thanks to the generous support of the United Way Lunenburg County, Town of Bridgewater, Department of Justice Lighthouse Grant, Municipality of the District of Lunenburg, and the Nova Scotia Health Authority.

Triathlon pre-registration is required. Call 902-543-9622 or register in person at the YMCA front desk.

peter_simpson@hotmail.com

Recent Stories