USA Triathlon has unveiled its ‘Splash, Spin, Sprint’ youth camp curriculum, a resource for use by camp directors across the United States to ‘introduce more youth than ever before to the sport of triathlon’. The curriculum, which includes a 100-page activity manual and a supply kit designed for children ages 6-15, was recently presented to attendees of the American Camp Association National Conference in Orlando, Florida.
The materials are the product of more than 10 years of collaboration between USA Triathlon and a number of organisations. These include: Alive With Mission Me, a former non-profit that combatted childhood obesity through the development of youth multisport curricula and programs; experienced triathletes and multisport coaches; and recognized scholars in health, recreation and physical education.
The manual is a resource for directors of both sport-specific and general youth camps, but is also a call-to-action to address the growing health problems related to physical inactivity and obesity among American youth.
The camp manual was co-authored by Meg Duncan, Youth Program Manager at USA Triathlon, and Dr Duston Morris, Associate Professor at the University of Central Arkansas.
“USA Triathlon is proud to launch its first youth camp curriculum, an educational resource that had been missing in the multisport industry,” Meg Duncan said. “We are excited to make ‘Splash, Spin, Sprint’ available to youth camps nationwide, as well as to other youth activity directors interested in incorporating triathlon into their physical education literacy.”
“I’m thrilled to finally bring years of collaboration and hard work to fruition,” Dr Duston Morris said. “The work of so many people over the past 10-plus years has really been the catalyst bringing this all together. It’s great to realize that these materials will finally be put into action by camp staff, multisport coaches and young multisport athletes. I hope the momentum continues and we can teach more kids about the wonderful benefits surrounding the multisport lifestyle.”
The manual provides lesson plans and step-by-step outlines for a variety of multisport-themed activities, including muscle flashcards, scavenger hunts and swim, bike, and run activity card games. The manual can be purchased with or without the activity kit – a trunk full of essential equipment such as tennis and ping-pong balls, cones, frisbees and whistles.
When the manual and the kit are used in conjunction with each other, the materials help youth develop the foundational skills needed to successfully participate in multisport events.
The majority of original materials found in the Splash, Spin, Sprint camp manual and kit have been pilot-tested across the US in numerous settings, from one- and two-day clinics to seven-week triathlon camps, and several pilot programs are still in existence today.
The manual and kit are available for purchase by contacting Meg Duncan directly via meg.duncan[at]usatriathlon.org. The manual on its own is US$100, and the full camp curriculum (manual and kit combined) is US$400.