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i-tri founder Theresa Roden wins 2018 ITU Women’s Committee Award of Excellence

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The International Triathlon Union (ITU) Women’s Committee has announced at the 2018 ITU Congress on Tuesday, 11th September at the Gold Coast, Australia, that Theresa Roden from the USA is the winner of the 2018 Award of Excellence.

In 2010, Theresa established i-tri: Transformation through Triathlon when her daughter Abby was entering middle school. Inspired by her own transformative experience having trained for her first triathlon in her 30s, she wanted to share the confidence and strength that she gained from that experience with girls in her region – particularly those with challenging social or emotional situations.

“We are delighted with this Award to Theresa, who has been a role model and an inspiration to numerous women to not only engage with newcomers to our sport, but also to be able to ensure that our reach goes to young women to all socioeconomic, racial and ethnic backgrounds” said Tomoko Wada, Chair of the ITU Women’s Committee.

The i-tri: Transformation through Triathlon program is now established in six schools in Long Island, New York, and the programme has 130 participants in 2018. Not only does Theresa provide a 6-month training programme to enable these girls to complete a youth triathlon, but she also fundraises to ensure that the initiative is accessible to children of all socioeconomic, racial and ethnic backgrounds. Equipment to complete the program is provided to participants free of change.

“Receiving the ITU Women’s Committee Award of Excellence tonight means the world to us, not just for me, but for all our staff, volunteers, board members, and of course our girls,” said Theresa Roden. “As we embark on a plan to bring i-tri national, throughout the US and eventually internationally, you remind all of us that the next step on this journey is not always the easy step, but it is one that is worth while. Because I have always said, i-tri must be available to every girl who can benefit from it.

“That is why we charge nothing and give every girl all their equipment and training for free. It is why we continue to expand and grow and it is why we never turn away a single girl.”

Roden has been recognised for her efforts by many local and national awarding bodies. Her program is continuing to grow, and it is being replicated nationally in other locations around the USA.

The ITU Women’s Committee Award of Excellence seeks to recognise ‘a wonderful individual / organization who has offered a remarkable contribution toward the advancement of women at all levels in triathlon/paratriathlon.’

Theresa emerged the winner from a strong field of six nominees for the award. ITU adds that each of whom is selflessly promoting a vision for women in sport through triathlon through passion, determination and dedication. The 2018 selection panel was comprised of three members of the ITU Women’s committee and two internationally renowned academics in the field of women in sport.

The Women’s Committee will also organise in the Gold Coast the first ever edition of the Open Novice Aquathlon, aimed particularly at women and girls over the age of 14, which will form part of the 2018 Open Aquathlon being held on 12 September.

More than 200 women will have the chance to have their own wave of the 2018 Open event to experience racing with those of the same level – over a 300m swim and 2.5km run. A Novice Clinic was also held on the morning of the race to offer further tips to the athletes and provide all the information needed to help and encourage them to get involved.

www.triathlon.org

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