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Volunteers of the Month: CU Triathlon Team

Aug 2, 2018, 10:07 AM by Y Staff

 The CU Triathlon team volunteers of the YMCA Strong Kids Triathlon


The Strong Kids Triathlon is like Christmas at the YMCA. It's a day of fun and joy and smiling, giggling kids.

We love it.

But it's also hard work for our staff. We need help. Lots of help.

That's why we are naming the CU Triathlon Team our Volunteers of the Month. Because when the going gets tough, when race day arrives, when hundreds of kids and their families show up with bikes and gear in tow, the CU Triathlon Team is there to save the day.

“We've volunteered at this race every year, ” says Dave Sheanin, CU Triathlon Team coach and long-time Strong Kids Triathlon volunteer. “ We get very excited watching all of the kids (who may one day become future teammates?!) working hard and having fun. And we know a thing or two about working hard and having fun!”

CU Triathlon is a student-led club team that has won 18 national championships, including an eight-year championship streak from 2010-2017. The team has a mixture of competitive and recreational triathletes who love seeing kids being active and trying something new. 

“For many of the participants in the Strong Kids Tri, this is their first triathlon, and we remember the thrill of our first races, ” Sheanin says. “ Being able to help these young athletes (and their families) have a great experience is something we look forward to every year.”

child crosses finish line during YMCA Strong Kids TriathlonAli O'Donnell, team vice-president, notes that “the Boulder community has always been incredibly supportive of our team, whether it be helping raise funds to get to nationals or showing support when we’re racing. Volunteering at this race and cheering on these kiddos allows us to give back to our community the same way they give to us. Our team embraces a very strong, family-like bond and we hope that being at the Strong Kids Tri each year helps the future generations of triathletes see how amazing and fun that is.”

That's the goal of the Strong Kids Triathlon: to give children a positive, supportive introduction to this often-intimidating sport. We want kids to feel the pride of successfully completing a race, we want them hungry to keep trying, we want them discovering that new sports and activities are out there waiting for them to dive in.

And we truly believe we that our triathlon would not have that effect without our volunteers.

“The 9th Annual Strong Kids Triathlon would not have been nearly the success it was without the help and support of the CU Triathlon Team," says Nick Miller, YMCA School Age Programs Senior Program Director and one of the staff members who helps plan and put on the triathlon. "Whether it was assisting in the pool, helping with transitions to bikes or rolling up a fence, they did anything and everything needed. Their passion for the sport was also felt and appreciated by participants and parents alike. This is an event that is beloved by the community and we cannot say thank you enough to these amazing people for helping to make it possible for so many kids!”

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