IRONMAN Foundation Expands its Race For Change Diversity Initiative at the Grassroots Level with New Partnerships
March 30, 2022
Black Kids Swim, Black Runners Connection, and Major Taylor Cycling Club join the IRONMAN Foundation's diversity and inclusion efforts
TAMPA, Fla. (March 30, 2022)/ENDURANCE SPORTSWIRE/ – The IRONMAN® Foundation today announced partnerships with Black Kids Swim®, Black Runners Connection, and Major Taylor Cycling Club to build awareness and expand outreach in support of its Race For ChangeTM diversity initiative. The IRONMAN Foundation and the three affinity sports clubs will implement programming to address potential participation barriers that might prevent Black and other diverse athlete groups from competing in triathlons.
In 2020, with the mission to ensure equity for athletes in the sport of triathlon and the communities where IRONMAN athletes and first-time hopefuls live, train, and race, Race For Change was launched by The IRONMAN Foundation and The IRONMAN Group with an initial pledge of $1 million to support programming.
To kick off the collaboration, members from Black Kids Swim, Black Runners Connection, and Major Taylor International Cycling Alliance will form Race For Change relay teams to compete in several 2022 IRONMAN 70.3®events throughout the United States. The goal behind the Race For Change relay teams is to foster support for The IRONMAN Foundation’s diversity initiative and inspire more diverse athletes to consider IRONMAN events. The Race For Change relay teams will take part in the following races:
- May 22: Sunbelt Bakery IRONMAN 70.3 North American Championship Chattanooga Presented by McKee A Family Bakery
- June 26: Maytag IRONMAN 70.3 Steelhead
- October 1: Jude Children’s Research Hospital IRONMAN 70.3 Memphis
“We are thrilled to be teaming up with Black Kids Swim, Black Runners Connection, and Major Taylor International Cycling Alliance through our Race For Change diversity initiative. We consider these groundbreaking partnerships an important collaboration as we seek to remove participation barriers to welcome more people into our sport,” said Audra Tassone-Indeck, Executive Director of the IRONMAN Foundation.
Black Kids Swim is a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing Black participation in competitive swimming. It encourages Black families to take advantage of the academic, professional, and personal opportunities available through proficient swim skills. Black Kids Swim wants to see Black children do more than ‘survive’ in the water. The organization helps Black children develop valuable techniques, sportsmanship, and discipline that can benefit them physically and professionally their entire lives.
“There is an immense amount of untapped talent in the Black swimming community that needs assistance and recognition,” said Black Kids Swim Founder and Executive Director Ebony Rosemond. “Black Kids Swim recognizes triathlon is growing in popularity and will soon become an NCAA sport. We view this exciting partnership with IRONMAN Foundation’s Race For Change initiative as something that will increase Black participation in both competitive swimming and triathlons.”
Black Runners Connection is a group that encourages Black people to embrace distance running throughout the world. It has more than 8,500 members nationwide and promotes the idea of a healthy mind and body as an athlete.
“Running is one of the most popular sports, and it is celebrated by being part of the largest endurance sport in the world,” said James Ravenell, president, and CEO of Black Runners Connection. “Being asked to be a part of IRONMAN Foundation’s Race For Change initiative will showcase how Black runners can participate in triathlons.”
Major Taylor International Cycling Alliance was named for Marshall “Major” Taylor, who in 1899 became the first Black American world champion in cycling. Major Taylor International Cycling Alliance is an all-inclusive cycling organization that looks to promote good health by supporting recreational and cycling activities in the community. It has clubs throughout the United States and overseas in Canada and Nairobi, Kenya.
“One of the goals of Major Taylor International Cycling Alliance is to show how inclusive cycling is and how it’s for all communities,’ said Bill Gaston, president of Major Taylor International Cycling Alliance. “We are excited and proud that the IRONMAN Foundation’s Race For Change initiative has invited our club to help with its diversity and inclusion efforts. Removing barriers and creating awareness of the multisport world is our goal. This is yet another avenue in the cycling community to be explored.”
Pro-triathlete coach, Morgon Latimore, will serve as a mentor and help each Race For Change relay team prep for their event.
For more information about Race For Change and the IRONMAN Foundation, visit www.ironmanfoundation.com/raceforchange. For more information on The IRONMAN Group, its brands, and global event series, visit www.ironman.com/about-ironman-group.
About IRONMAN DE&I Efforts
IRONMAN® has and continues to provide a welcoming platform and environment for all, becoming synonymous with monumental achievement by athletes from around the world, proving that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE®. Over IRONMAN’s 40-plus year history, the brand and its series of events have worked with and celebrated athletes of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds, from all races, religions, nationalities, and sexual orientations. Since the very first years, IRONMAN has represented breaking barriers and redefining what is possible. This legacy continues as athletes and the greater IRONMAN community have utilized the platform as a vehicle to challenge and redefine society views. The very first trailblazing Special Team of Dick and Rick Hoyt racing alongside other athletes was a pinnacle moment for what was to come. Their determination and fortitude has continued with athletes like John MacLean, Jim MacLaren, David Bailey, Carlos Moleda, Jim Howley, Scott Rigsby, Sarah Reinertsen, Rudy Tolson-Garcia, Ricky James, Turia Pitt, Minda Dentler, Team Agar, the Pease Brothers, Alex Zanardi, Rajesh Durbal, Team Liza, Lauren Parker, Roderick Sewell, and most recently Chris Nikic and Sam Holness, among so many others. These athletes and their achievements through IRONMAN have established non-profits and long-standing partnerships like the Challenged Athletes Foundation, which continues to do incredible work. The vastness of the athlete community, partners, and the openness that exists with its events is what makes IRONMAN special and is core to what the brand represents. Continuing the belief and importance of inclusivity, IRONMAN is committed to Women For Tri and Race For Change while working on additional avenues to further increase diversity, equity, and inclusion.
About the IRONMAN Foundation
The IRONMAN Foundation creates positive, tangible change in IRONMAN race communities by engaging athletes and volunteers to participate in programs that demonstrate service through sport and commitment to community. Since 2003, over $55,000,000 has been provided through IRONMAN charitable giveback programs, including the IRONMAN Foundation, to more than 10,000 local, regional, national, and global nonprofit initiatives. Through these partnerships, IRONMAN® and Rock ‘n’ Roll Running Series® participants are powerfully linked to the community and together help leave a positive legacy behind in race communities long after event day. For more information on IRONMAN Foundation programs, including Team IMF, Community Fund, Race For ChangeTM, Rock This Town®, and Your Journey Your Cause, visit www.ironmanfoundation.org.
About The IRONMAN Group
The IRONMAN Group operates a global portfolio of events that includes the IRONMAN® Triathlon Series, the IRONMAN® 70.3® Triathlon Series, the IRONMAN® Virtual Racing™ (VR™) Series, 5150™ Triathlon Series, the Rock’ n’ Roll® Running Series, the Rock’ n’ Roll Virtual Running™ Series, IRONKIDS®, World Triathlon Championship Series, premier running events including the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon™ and The Sun-Herald City2Surf®, UTMB® World Series events including Tarawera Ultramarathon and Ultra-Trail Australia™, mountain bike races including the Absa Cape Epic®, road cycling events including Haute Route®, and gravel racing like Gravel Epic®, and other multisport races. The IRONMAN Group is the largest operator of mass participation sports in the world and provides more than a million participants annually the benefits of endurance sports through the company’s vast offerings. Since the inception of the iconic IRONMAN® brand and its first event in 1978, athletes have proven that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE® by crossing finish lines around the world. Beginning as a single race, The IRONMAN Group has grown to become a global sensation with hundreds of events across 55+ countries. The IRONMAN Group is owned by Advance, a private, family-owned business. For more information, visit www.ironman.com/about-ironman-group.
Advance is a private, family-held business that owns and invests in companies across media, entertainment, technology, communications, education, and other promising growth sectors. Our mission is to build the value of our companies over the long term by fostering growth and innovation. Advance’s portfolio includes Condé Nast, Advance Local, Stage Entertainment, The IRONMAN Group, American City Business Journals, Leaders Group, Turnitin, 1010data, and Pop. Together these operating companies employ more than 17,000 people in 29 countries. Advance is also among the largest shareholders in Charter Communications, Discovery, and Reddit. For more information, visit www.advance.com.
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