Ah, summer break as a child in the days of yore.
Before our modern technology overload – smartphones, social media, social gaming, streaming television and more – summer meant playing and running outside with your friends, climbing trees, riding bikes, swimming all day and coming home as the streetlights lit up. And perhaps, for a week or two, summer could mean family trips or day camps.
However, for most children today, the picture of summer as a season to freely increase their physical activity outside has evolved into a new picture: a mostly sedentary summer, indoors, with children glued to their smartphones and computers.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, children spend more than seven and a half hours per day on screens, including smartphones, computers, televisions and video games. HHS also reports that only one in three children is physically active every day.
Summer presents the ideal recipe to cook-up young couch-potatoes. No school plus no homework amounts to increased screen time, which requires little and no physical activity.
Fortunately, parents can find the antidote to sedentary summers at the local YMCA, where parents can easily, and affordably, infuse their child’s summer with a healthy, dose of physical activity.
This summer the YMCA of Southeastern North Carolina offering residents its annual Kids Triathlon fitness program and events to revive your child’s physical activity and competitive spirit. The triathlons involve swimming, biking and running and teach children how to transition from one activity to the next for their performance in the final triathlon. This year’s event features two new additions as well – a tot-sized swim/run triathlon for toddlers, aged 3 to 4, and a Teen Triathlon, for teens aged 14 to 17 years old.
In addition to getting your children to break a sweat, the programs provide other invaluable life skills and tools we gain from participating in individual and team sports and competitions. Given the dire statistics on children and physical activity, parents should take advantage of this opportunity provided by the YMCA to boost their children’s physical fitness in a positive upbuilding, fun and encouraging environment.
The YMCA offers the following, varying participation options for its Kids Triathlon program.
Elevate and maximize your child’s athletic ability with YMCA’s Kids Triathlon Club. This program incorporates weekly running, swimming and biking courses three days a week to prepare each club member to reach their peak performance in the final competition.
While training for the triathlon competition, children also gain numerous priceless life skills in addition to exercise. This program, along with all the Kids Triathlon competitions, strive to build children’s self-esteem, teamwork skills, self-discipline, sportsmanship and healthy ambition. Your child will end his or her summer as a powerhouse trifecta – a stronger swimmer, biker and runner.
Key Details on the Kids Triathlon Club
(with two site locations for your convenience):
Dates: June 24th – August 16th
Group 1 (Ages 5- 10) Time: 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Group 2 (Ages 8-13) Time: 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.
(A full calendar indicating site locations will be provided upon registration.)
For those children not quite ready for the full, triathlon commitment, this program allows children to dabble in the triathlon pool and experience a triathlon without the time commitment required for the Kids Triathlon Club. This Triathlon and Mini Clinic is a one-day, two-hour event.
Similar to the Kids Triathlon Club, this program offers another opportunity for your children to hone their swimming, biking and running skills in a supportive yet competitive environment. The first hour is devoted to training for the mini triathlon via two clinics, practicing swimming and triathlon transitioning. The second hour is devoted to a mini Triathlon competition, which includes swimming, biking and running.
Key Details on the Kids Triathlon Clinic & Mini Triathlon:
Date: Saturday August 10th
Time: 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
The YMCA’s Annual Wilmington Kids Triathlon has amped up its activities and closing competitions this year. For the first time, the event is packing its fitness activities over a three-day weekend. This annual event entering its 17th year, will feature a broad range of events and activities for children of all ages, including older teens this year.
The three-day family fun event, co-sponsored by Dimock, Weinberg and Cherry, DDS and Engineering Software Solutions, will also feature family-oriented games, entertainment and activities for the event’s spectators and participants.
All participants in the triathlons will receive medals and tee-shirts. The top three females and males in each age division will be awarded trophies. With a professional event production company, SetUp, orchestrating the event, participants will receive the ultimate triathlon experience.
Key Details for YMCA’s 17th Annual Wilmington Kids Triathlon:
Friday, August 16th at 6 p.m.
A special swim/run event for children aged 3 to 4 years old. This event includes a 25-yard swim and 400-yard run around YMCA’s track.
Day 2’s swim/bike/run triathlon features four different age divisions and the following obstacle courses:
Ages 5-6: Swim 25 yards, Bike 1 mile, Run 0.5 mile
Ages 7-8: Swim 50 yards, Bike 2 miles, Run 0.5 mile
Ages 9-10: Swim 100 yards, Bike 2 miles, Run 1 mile
Ages 11-12: Swim 200 yards, Bike 3 miles, Run 2 miles
Sunday, August 18th at 8:00 a.m.
This year older teens can compete amongst their peers in a swim/bike/run triathlon designed for those aged 14 to 17 years old. Participants in the Teen Triathlon must swim 300 yards, bike 4 miles and run 2.5 miles.
Parents can register their children and get more information about YMCA’s Kids Triathlon online at https://www.ymcasenc.org/programs/kids-triathlon-club/ Parents can also contact Lindsay Peiffer, YMCA Race Director at (910) 251-246-9622 (extension 266) Lindsay.Peiffer@ymcasenc.org