The IRONMAN Foundation will engage in its first charitable givebacks for the 2017 season with an adaptive surf clinic for youth as part of the Junior Seau Foundation Adaptive Youth Surf Program presented by Challenged Athletes Foundation, taking place on Sunday 2 April 2017. This will be the first of eight service projects the IRONMAN Foundation is scheduled to lead for 2017.
In addition, the IRONMAN Foundation will distribute over US$33,000 in charitable giveback to non-profit initiatives and groups in the greater Oceanside, California community in conjunction with the 2017 IRONMAN 70.3 Oceanside triathlon taking place on Saturday 1 April 2017.
The youth surf clinic will host up to 20 kids with physical challenges who will spend the morning learning to paddle and surf at Oceanside Pier with the assistance of volunteers including professional triathletes, coaches and IRONMAN TriClub athletes from The IRONMAN Foundation’s new ‘TriClubs in Service’ initiative. The Junior Seau Foundation Adaptive Surf Program presented by Challenge Athletes Foundation provides an opportunity for kids with physical challenges to learn how to surf, improve their skills and ultimately share in a lifestyle sport that so many in Southern California enjoy, while celebrating the legacy of Junior Seau, the former San Diego Chargers linebacker who lived in Oceanside and surfed regularly.
CAF Executive Director, Virginia Tinley said, “We are very grateful to the Junior Seau Foundation and the IRONMAN Foundation for advancing our program to teach and develop the next wave of challenged athletes in adaptive surfing. With surfing’s inclusion in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, we are hopeful that inclusion in the Paralympics will be next; these kids can shoot for the podium or just have a lot of fun learning to surf.”
The IRONMAN Foundation Community Fund provides community and volunteer grant opportunities to non-profit organizations where North American IRONMAN events are held. In 2017, The IRONMAN Foundation will distribute more than US$1.5 million in grant funding to support the needs of IRONMAN race communities across North America, including a grant program to support organizations with a volunteerism component.
“We are honoured to support so many outstanding local community organizations,” said Sarah Hartmann, Community Relations Manager for The IRONMAN Foundation. “Together we are creating a lasting and tangible impact in Oceanside. Last year, volunteer grant funding was distributed among 47 community groups in the region.”
Since its inception in 2003, The IRONMAN Foundation has worked with multiple non-profit organizations in the form of charity partnerships. CAF is the Official Charity Partner of the 2017 IRONMAN 70.3 Oceanside triathlon. CAF’s Team Operation Rebound is on track to raise over US$200,000 to help injured troops heal through sports and ‘get them from the frontline to the finish line’. With over 100 fundraisers and a team of challenged athletes competing at IM 70.3 Oceanside, CAF is driving forwards with its mission to provide opportunities and support to people with physical challenges, so they can pursue active lifestyles through physical fitness and competitive athletics.
Partnering with an IRONMAN or IRONMAN 70.3 event provides a platform for charities to raise awareness and educate others about their cause while raising valuable funds towards their mission. Through these partnerships, US$5.8 million was raised to support charities’ respective missions in 2016 alone, with US$24.4 million raised since the beginning of The IRONMAN Foundation’s charity partnership program. The partnership between The IRONMAN Foundation and CAF has raised over US$4.2 million over the years. This has helped to provide adaptive sports equipment, coaching, mentoring and competition travel – giving hundreds of challenged athletes the opportunity to participate in IRONMAN events globally.