COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — USA Triathlon and the USA Triathlon Foundation today announced a formal partnership with the CMAK (Chase Michael-Anthony Kowalski) Sandy Hook Memorial Foundation, founded in remembrance of Chase Kowalski. The CMAK mission inspires community healing through family and children-focused initiatives — including the Race4Chase youth triathlon training program, which teaches the fundamentals of triathlon while building camaraderie, self-esteem and healthy, active lifestyles.
Chase Kowalski was a first grader at Sandy Hook Elementary when he taken from us at the December 2012 tragedy. To honor Chase and capture his energy and competitive spirit, the Kowalski family founded the CMAK Foundation. CMAK focuses on health and wellness for children and their families, pursuing programs and initiatives that encourage personal improvement, healthy lifestyles, and strong families and communities.
Race4Chase, a program of the CMAK Foundation run through local YMCAs, provides opportunities for youth ages 6-12 to learn about, and experience, triathlon at no charge. There are currently 24 Race4Chase program sites across the states of Connecticut, Rhode Island and South Carolina. With USA Triathlon’s support, CMAK will expand that to 27 sites, including sites in Washington, D.C., for the 2019 season. At each program site, youth are introduced to triathlon in a camp setting over a six-week period — culminating in a FINALE event in which participants complete a triathlon. Race4Chase will conclude its summer triathlon programs with each state hosting a FINALE event.
CMAK will also stage a community triathlon open to all youth athletes on Sunday, July 14, in Monroe, Connecticut, bringing the total number of Race4Chase triathlon events to five for 2019.
In addition to its youth programming, Race4Chase also enables runners and triathletes of all ages to support CMAK while they train and race via grassroots online fundraising campaigns.
CMAK has been a USA Triathlon Foundation grant recipient since 2015. USA Triathlon and the USA Triathlon Foundation are increasing their financial support in 2019 to aid the national buildout of program sites and FINALE events.
“My husband, Stephen, and I are excited and proud to be in partnership with USA Triathlon for the betterment of the Race4Chase kids’ triathlon program,” said Rebecca Kowalski, mother of Chase and President of CMAK. “This partnership will provide resources to enhance the quality of the program for all its athletes, support its continued national expansion and confirm Race4Chase as a valuable option for introducing youth to the sport of triathlon. It is exciting to see how Chase's spirit has captured the attention of so many while bringing the thrill of achievement to our youth through triathlon. We thank USA Triathlon for their commitment to the Race4Chase program and look forward to a long-lasting relationship while serving our youth in Chase's name.”
“USA Triathlon looks forward to working more closely with the CMAK Foundation and Race4Chase in 2019 to bring triathlon to youth at no cost,” said Meg Duncan, Youth Program Manager at USA Triathlon. “This program has shown incredible growth since its inception. We could not be more proud of how Race4Chase has partnered with local communities and YMCAs to bring multisport to kids, all while honoring Chase and the victims of the Sandy Hook tragedy.”
“The USA Triathlon Foundation is honored to again support the CMAK Foundation to help build programs in Chase’s memory, while encouraging children and families to lead healthy lifestyles through swimming, biking and running,” said David Deschenes, Executive Director of the USA Triathlon Foundation.
To learn more about Race4Chase and the CMAK Sandy Hook Memorial Foundation, visit cmakfoundation.org. For more information about USA Triathlon’s youth programming, visit usatriathlon.org/youth.
The CMAK Foundation established the Race4Chase kids’ triathlon program to embody its vision and mission by introducing youth to the sport of triathlon and sharing the experience that Chase Kowalski achieved at such an early age. Race4Chase brings together kids from all different backgrounds and teaches them how to adopt a healthy lifestyle, coaches them to develop a foundation of athletic skills, and inspires them to aim high in sports and in life. The program promotes a greater self-confidence and knowledge for the participants that obstacles can be overcome and success achieved through hard work and dedication. They also are able to share the happiness and camaraderie of being part of a team striving for a similar goal, and feel encouragement and appreciation from their families and community members participating in the culminating event. Visit cmakfoundation.org to learn more and donate today.
About USA Triathlon
USA Triathlon is proud to serve as the National Governing Body for triathlon, as well as duathlon, aquathlon, aquabike, winter triathlon, off-road triathlon and paratriathlon in the United States. Founded in 1982, USA Triathlon sanctions more than 4,300 events and connects with more than 400,000 members each year, making it the largest multisport organization in the world. In addition to its work with athletes, coaches, and race directors — as well as the USA Triathlon Foundation — USA Triathlon provides leadership and support to elite athletes competing at international events, including International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Championships, Pan American Games and the Olympic and Paralympic Games. USA Triathlon is a proud member of the ITU and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).
About the USA Triathlon Foundation
The USA Triathlon Foundation was created in 2014 by the USA Triathlon Board of Directors as an independent tax-exempt 501(c)(3) entity. Under the leadership of its Trustees and Committee members, the Foundation serves as a means to create a healthier America through triathlon, and seeks to transform lives by opening up new pathways to the sport for all, especially those who are otherwise underserved. The USA Triathlon Foundation operates with the belief that every child should have the chance to participate, every paratriathlete should have the opportunity to compete, and every aspiring elite athlete should be able to chase his or her Olympic dream. Since the Foundation’s inception, more than $1.9 million has been provided to worthy causes and organizations that support its mission. Donations to the USA Triathlon Foundation ensure America's youth are introduced to the benefits and fun of a multisport lifestyle, athletes with disabilities receive the training, support and gear to be able to participate and excel, and the best aspiring young athletes have a chance to pursue their Olympic Dreams. Visit usatriathlonfoundation.org to learn more and donate today.