I remember the day so clearly, walking up to the entrance of Springs School, full of excitement and enthusiasm, ready to pitch my idea for a new program for middle school girls to school principal, Eric Casale. I will be forever grateful for his confidence in me. In 2009 Springs was a small school district with great need and limited resources, Eric welcomed the opportunity to be able to offer something to girls who could benefit from something really special and he believed, as I did- that this was going to be VERY SPECIAL!
That first season was magical! The empowerment and triathlon training curriculum that we use today is all based on the lessons and the techniques we created with that first group of girls. They knew that they were helping to create this and each one of their journeys are woven into the DNA of i-tri. At the time there was not a youth distance triathlon on the East End of Long Island, so Sharon McCobb, our athletic director created the Maidstone Park Youth Triathlon: a 300 yard open water swim, a 7 mile bike and a 1.5 mile run. The girls trained MIND-BODY and SPIRIT for six months leading up to that first race and each one faced their fears and did it anyway- jubilantly crossing the finish line with huge smiles on their faces.
As great as those finish line moments were, it was not until months later when we got the girls together again, that I realized the true impact and potential of i-tri. The girls were adamant- “We want to do this again but invite a new group of girls to do it with us and we will help to train them and encourage them as mentors.” When I asked them to create a vision for i-tri- they came up with: i-tri will be available to any girl- anywhere- who can benefit from being a part of something special!
10 years, 10 schools and close to 700 girls later i-tri is working to make that vision a reality! On October 5th we reveal our new brand and our new website as our first step in taking i-tri National and someday, International! When I visualize this I feel the same excitement and enthusiasm that I felt all those years ago walking through the doors of Springs School. Iimagine a girl, somewhere in the world, that has no idea that this opportunity is going to come her way and when it does it will change the entire trajectory of her life! That indeed is something very special!
With light and love, Theresa