Youth Participation and Development: Community Growth Opportunities

Volunteer at a Local Youth Event

Triathlon and multisport youth events require a team of volunteers to make the race successful. These volunteers do a wide range of tasks ranging from pre-race packet stuffing to post-race teardown and everything in between. Many race directors also provide opportunities for discounted race entries or other benefits for volunteers. At the end of the day, events cannot be successful without the help that volunteers provide. To give back and support your local multisport community consider volunteering at a local race or USA Triathlon Championship. You can get involved and find an event here.

Host a Youth Tri101 Info Session

An info session is an opportunity to share information about the sport of triathlon with members of the community. Sessions can be hosted by any coach, race director, club, or passionate triathlete. They can take place at any local store, restaurant, gym, or anywhere it is easy to gather a group of parents and kids and share a presentation. The most important elements are welcoming new youth triathletes (and parents) into the sport and giving them the initial information they need to get started. More information about hosting an info session can be found here:

Splash and Dash Series 

The USA Triathlon Splash & Dash Youth Aquathlon Series is open to athletes ages 7-15. There will be over 60 events in each of the six USA Triathlon regions. The focus is on participation rather than competition. The series will expose youth participants to USA Triathlon and the exciting world of multisport! Timing will not be required at each event, although it is acceptable. All events within the series will be USA Triathlon sanctioned. Learn more about the series here.

Swim to Tri

USA Triathlon and USA Swimming have teamed up to create Swim to Tri! Swim to Tri is an opportunity for USA Swimming clubs to add multisport (bike and run) curriculum to their programs. In doing so, USA Swimming Clubs can help create lifelong athletes, generate new revenue streams, offer alternative off-season programming and attract new athletes.  

Become a Swim to Tri program – it’s free!:

Youth Scholarship Program 

Last year, USA Triathlon and the USA Triathlon Foundation launched a youth scholarship program in an effort to not only grow overall youth participation in multisport, but also to reduce barriers to entry for underserved youth. For every USA Triathlon adult annual membership newly purchased or renewed, or for every current membership not set to expire that is extended by one year, the USA Triathlon Foundation donated one youth digital membership to a deserving child.  

Now, we are asking for your help to reach deserving youth with these digital memberships. If your club includes youth and/or junior triathletes who may be candidates for this scholarship, or if you personally know an aspiring young athlete, please share this application form with them:  

American Development Model (ADM) alignment 

Beginning in 2020, USA Triathlon's Youth & Junior Nationals saw several changes to align with the American Development Model (ADM), a concerted effort between the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee and its sport National Governing Bodies to apply long-term athlete development principles in a way that resonates with the culture of sport in the United States.  

USA Triathlon built a specific triathlon-focused ADM model to follow in 2019. The ADM aims to create early positive experiences for youth athletes across all sports by promoting sustained sport participation. Emphasis is placed on developmentally appropriate activities, including foundational skill development, coordination and motor control. ADM research supports universal access and opportunity for all athletes; encourages multi-sport participation versus early specialization; and promotes the establishment of a fun, challenging and engaging atmosphere through quality coaching at all levels. Research shows that youth athletes commonly drop out of sport around age 12 — but beginning at age 13-14, their bodies are better able to handle heavier workloads, specialization efforts and more advanced training concepts. The ADM framework gradually builds upon itself to maintain positive environments for youth athletes while avoiding burnout.  

Review the USA Triathlon ADM materials here:

Take the USA Triathlon ADM Pledge today