Ethos, the mass participation event organization behind the Columbia Threadneedle Investments Boston Triathlon, has a number of initiatives in play for this year’s event. These have been made possible thanks to a public-private partnership involving a number of stakeholders.
Stakeholders participating in initiatives at the 14th annual event, held on July 23-24, 2022, include: Amazon, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Columbia Threadneedle Investments, the Mayor of Boston, USA Triathlon and the YMCA of Greater Boston.
The event recently named Amazon as an Official Community Partner of Kids Day at the Boston Triathlon, and is partnering with Amazon to make registration for Kids Day free to all. The free-to-participate Kids Day takes place on Saturday, July 23, 2022, and is part of the weekend-long Boston Triathlon event.
In addition, the event has confirmed financial support for a Swim Safely Partnership. This is an initiative aimed at increasing access to free swimming lessons and life guard training and certification, especially for those in the Greater Boston area who have historically faced economic or logistic barriers.
Michael O’Neil, President of the Boston Triathlon gave endurance.biz some background to the latest initiatives. He said “This is all about giving kids a lifesaving skill with free swim lessons and delivering a positive pathway through sport, and specifically introducing kids to the concept of multisport.
“We are building on long-standing relationships with the successive Mayors of Boston – who share our focus on diversity, accessibility and the positive impact this has on our wider community.
“Triggered by an increase in drowning incidents across the State of Massachusetts, we’ve partnered with the city of Boston and other key partners to address this key public health issue. Drownings are seven-times more likely to occur for people of color, and we are hoping this program can narrow this disparity and help save lives.”
The Boston Triathlon, along with support from title sponsor Columbia Threadneedle Investments, as well as the USA Triathlon Foundation team, have matched dollars already committed by the Mayor of Boston and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts to expand the city’s swim safety initiative.
This is offering free swim lessons for children and adults, expanding the lifeguard workforce through free training, and implementing a pilot program that offers free swimming lessons for students at Boston Public Schools. Focusing on swim lessons for children in more deprived areas, lessons will be open to all Boston residents and will be held at YMCA of Greater Boston’s Dorchester, Roxbury, Hyde Park, Huntington Ave and Chinatown locations.
O’Neil continued, “If we can save just one life by encouraging confidence and building swim skills then our impact will be profound.” He went on to explain how Amazon got on board to support free participation at the Boston Triathlon on Kids Day.
“Amazon has been moving towards sports more, and is supportive of community initiatives,” O’Neil said. “They are making significant investments in youth sports across New England. We started talking with them about how to give kids a pathway through sport and they stepped up with an investment.
“This has enabled us to make registration free for all kids at our event. By partnering with USA Triathlon all day licence fees have also been waived. So, for participating kids we have a frictionless registration platform and racing is entirely free.
“Most importantly, we know that kids in certain communities don’t always get these kind of opportunities. So, this matters.”
O’Neil added, “We hope that the public-private partnership we have in place in Boston can offer a road map and resource for other race directors across the United States.”
The weekend-long Boston Triathlon is expected to bring more than 2,000 participants to the Boston waterfront for two days of races for kids, adults, relay teams, and local Boston companies. Columbia Threadneedle Investments, a leading global asset management group, is once again the title sponsor of the event.