USA Triathlon (USAT) has launched its first pilot program for the ‘Splash, Spin, Sprint’ school curriculum. This is a resource for physical education teachers and school administrators nationwide across the United States to ‘introduce more youth than ever before to the sport of triathlon.’
A pilot is being implemented for the first time at Billy Mills Middle School in Lawrence, Kansas, and will expand to additional schools starting in January 2020.
USAT adds that the Splash, Spin, Sprint curriculum is a product of more than 10 years of collaboration between USA Triathlon; Alive With Mission Me, a former non-profit that has combatted childhood obesity; experienced triathletes and multisport coaches; and recognized scholars in health, recreation and physical education.
The school manual, geared toward students ages 6-12, is a resource for physical educators as well as a call-to-action to address the growing health problems related to physical inactivity and obesity among American youth.
The materials were co-authored by Liz Dobbins, Adjunct Lecturer for the University of Kansas and Owner and CEO of Propelogy.com; Joan Brewer, Interim Dean and Associate Dean of The Teacher’s College and a professor of health, physical education and recreation at Emporia State University; and Dr Duston Morris, Associate Professor at the University of Central Arkansas.
Meg Duncan, Youth Program Manager at USA Triathlon, also advised and collaborated on the project.
The curriculum offers a nine-week unit lesson manual, which includes more than 25 individual lesson plans. Teachers have the ability to modify and adapt each lesson to their students’ specific needs and skill levels while introducing them to healthy lifestyles through swimming, biking and running.
The pilot program at Billy Mills Middle School, a part of Lawrence Public Schools, will involve 150 sixth-grade students. All participants will receive a complimentary USA Triathlon youth digital membership as part of the program.
“USA Triathlon is proud to implement our first-ever multisport school curriculum at Billy Mills Middle School,” USAT’s Meg Duncan said. “Watching the teachers design and integrate the curriculum, successfully introducing their students to all the benefits of a multisport lifestyle, is an impactful step forward for our youth programming development.”
“We are very excited about working with USA Triathlon,” said Denise Johnson, Assistant Director of Fine Arts, Health, PE and Wellness for Lawrence Public Schools. “This is a unique opportunity for our students and a way to increase their physical activities and encourage lifetime fitness.”
Additional Billy Mills Middle School staff members involved in the pilot program include physical education teachers Emily Hess, Jay Deiser and Jayme Savage.