The Barbados Federation of Island Triathletes (BFIT) today announced its continued commitment to the future of triathlon on the island, highlighting the recent implementation of a range of youth-oriented activities designed to strengthen the skills of up and coming triathletes.
Commencing late last year, elite local triathlete Matthew Wright held two separate triathlon camps aimed at children ages 8-12 years and 13-19 years. The purpose of the camps was two-fold – to acquaint younger children to the techniques involved across the three sports in triathlon, as well as to provide specialist training for older CARIFTA-level children looking to improve their skill set for qualifying races.
Last month, the federation then lent its support to Barbadian Olympic triathlete Jason Wilson in hosting a Q&A session for young triathletes to share racing preparation advice and theoretical assistance to those looking to qualify for this year’s CARIFTA in Jamaica. Wilson also introduced attendees to his new training program suited to both recreational and competitive triathletes aged 11-19 years, also serving as the Junior High Performance Program for emerging athletes aged 16 years and older.
To add to these significant initiatives, BFIT has now launched several new youth-focused triathlon training opportunities catering to varying abilities, goals and budgets. These include bicycle, swimming and running skills and competency programs, and even a specialised membership for young triathletes aged 11-19 years, entitling them to two swim sessions per week with the Pirates Swim Club.
BFIT President Darren Treasure says this latest increase in activity supports BFIT’s vision to improve the number and quality of training opportunities for young and budding triathletes, as well as encourage new members to join the federation.
“BFIT is not only committed to increasing the standard of triathlon offered in Barbados, but we also want to show that anyone can give triathlon a try, shattering the perception that it is an elitist sport,” he said. Treasure added that he was recently awarded a British Triathlon Level 2 Coaching Certification, making him the only person in Barbados to hold this international distinction and one of only six people in the Caribbean. “By investing in improving the level of coaching available, we hope to give our triathletes the best competitive edge, both at home and abroad. Previous National Triathlon Champion and 2018 CARIFTA Head Coach, Oein Josiah, has also just received his CAMTRI Level 1 Coaching Certification and last year we hosted a coaching development camp with the assistance of British Triathlon – the first of its kind in the Caribbean – so we are slowly, but surely, continuing to shift the benchmark for triathlon on the island.”
The foundation of BFIT’s youth development efforts remains in its long-standing popular Kids Triathlon Series, sponsored by PineHill Juice. These races are held once a month and give children the opportunity to learn about the sport of triathlon as well as race in a safe, supportive and supervised environment. The Series encourages kids to build their fitness, develop skills in the three individual sports, and above all have fun. The next race is Sunday 10th February – children can be registered at any time and their first race is free.
BFIT is the governing federation for triathlon and triathletes in Barbados. The federation also hosts the CARIFTA qualifying races, an Age Group Mixed Relay, an Age Group Sprint Triathlon and Relay, the CAMTRI Sprint Triathlon American Cup, Duathlon and Aquathlon races, the Annual Barbados National Triathlon, as well as more casual events like the Parent’s Triathlon and Celebrity Race. (PR)