Mar 06, 2016 |
Carlisle resident aims to get kids moving with TRi KiDS events
Carlisle resident Greg Phillips is an avid supporter of SunRype TRi KiDS events in Burlington, Oakville and Milton. The local investment advisor has been a sponsor and volunteer of the triathlons for three to 15-year-olds since they began in 2009.
By Melanie Cummings, Special to the Review
Running, biking and swimming are the go-to activities of summer, especially for kids. At least they used to be.
According to ParticipACTION, just 5 per cent of Canadian kids are meeting the nation's physical activity guidelines that urge children to get active for 60 minutes daily.
But if you head to any of the local TRi KiDS events this summer, that stat just won't ring true.
And Carlisle's Greg Phillips is in part, the reason why.
The investment advisor with Richardson GMP in Burlington has been a longtime sponsor and volunteer at the SunRype TRi KiDS races for children age three to 15, held in Milton, Burlington and Oakville.
"The focus is on participation, not competition," said Phillips who has been involved with the event since it started in 2009.
Compared to other organized sports, triathlons are a relatively inexpensive way to introduce kids to sports that they may never have been exposed to before, added Phillips. There’s a $48 (plus tax) registration fee, and the sport requires equipment kids typically already have: a bike, running shoes and a bathing suit.
Interest in TRi KiDs has grown over the years. Last year, the GTA events attracted about 800 young budding and veteran triathletes, and crowds of about 2,400. An equal number of males and females show up to participate too, noted Phillips.
The local athlete is no stranger to the triathlon scene. He's competed in 20 to 30 of them in his adult life and three Half Iron Man challenges. "I've always believed in sport and healthy lifestyles," he said.
His perspective came in handy last year when a five-year-old boy who had just finished the swim part of the triathlon couldn't find the motivation to do the tricycle portion. As the transition volunteer in the bike zone, Phillips urged him to "just enjoy the ride." The little guy pedaled on his merry way and finished the race.
Phillips, who's also a father of two daughters, recently added a charitable element to the event by raising money for children with cancer, specifically the Pediatric Oncology Group of Ontario (POGO).
Last year, he offered blue and orange 'I TRi' rubber bracelets for any denomination of donation at the races, and raised $2,200 for POGO, which improves access to state-of-the-art cancer care for all children in the province.
The TRi KiDS events are the brain child of Tara and Brad Melville who have since expanded the races to other communities in Ontario and beyond, to British Columbia and Alberta.
The Burlington duathlon (biking and running only) is June 19. It's in Oakville July 3 and Milton on Sept. 4. For more information about the summer events, which typically sell out by spring, log on to www.trikids.ca