We’ve Got Your Back(pack): The IRONMAN Foundation to Support At-Risk Youth Through New Program

April 12, 2017

Backpack Initiative Supporting Local At-Risk Youth Launches in Six Race Communities; Voting Open for USA Today Grant Funding

TAMPA, Fla. (April 12, 2017) – The IRONMAN Foundation® has launched the “We’ve Got Your Back(pack) initiative to support local at-risk youth in six IRONMAN® and IRONMAN® 70.3® race communities in 2017. The IRONMAN Foundation will assemble backpacks filled with healthy snacks, a personal note from an IRONMAN athlete, and tools to inspire local students to eat well, exercise, and live a healthy lifestyle, giving athletes and their supporters the opportunity to connect to local youth and sending them the message that “We’ve got your back.”

In the United States, 14.5 million children under the age of 18 live below the poverty line and an additional 13.1 million live in food-insecure households. Lack of access to healthy food leads to higher obesity rates, lower academic performance and decreased quality of life.

“As part of race weekend for the six select events, the IRONMAN Foundation will deliver the backpacks to a local nonprofit organization that serves at-risk youth, powerfully linking our athletes to the local community and leaving the IRONMAN legacy behind, long after race day,” said Sarah Hartmann, Community Relations Manager for The IRONMAN Foundation.

To further this initiative, the IRONMAN Foundation has applied for “A Community Thrives” grant from the USA Today Network. If selected, the six nonprofit partner organizations will each receive a $10,000 grant to enhance or start new programming that keeps kids healthy and active. Voting opens on April 12 at 11:59am EST and closes on May 12 at 11:59am EST. To vote, visit http://bit.ly/VoteIMF.

The six IRONMAN events are the Memorial Herman IRONMAN North American Championship – Texas, the 2017 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in Chattanooga, Tenn., IRONMAN 70.3 Lake Placid, the IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawai’i, IRONMAN Florida and IRONMAN Arizona. As part of race week, athletes and their supporters are invited to visit the IRONMAN Foundation in IRONMAN Village and support the initiative.

For more information on the IRONMAN Foundation We’ve Got Your Back(pack) initiative, visit www.ironmanfoundation.org/programs/weve-got-backpack/.  For more information on IRONMAN and The IRONMAN Foundation, please visit www.ironman.com and www.ironmanfoundation.org. For media related inquiries, please contact [email protected].



A Wanda Sports Holdings company, IRONMAN operates a global portfolio of events that includes the IRONMAN® Triathlon Series, the IRONMAN® 70.3® Triathlon Series, 5150™ Triathlon Series, Iron Girl®, IRONKIDS®, six of nine International Triathlon Union World Triathlon Series races, road cycling events including the UCI Velothon Majors Series, mountain bike races, premier marathons and other multisport races. IRONMAN’s events, together with all other Wanda Sports Holdings events, provide more than 680,000 participants annually the benefits of endurance sports through the company’s vast offerings. The iconic IRONMAN® Series of events is the largest participation sports platform in the world. Since the inception of the IRONMAN® brand in 1978, athletes have proven that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE® by crossing finish lines at the world’s most challenging endurance races. Beginning as a single race, IRONMAN has grown to become a global sensation with more than 260 events across 44 countries. For more information, visit www.ironman.com.

About Wanda Sports Holdings

Wanda Sports Holdings is the world’s leading sports business entity, founded to capture the opportunities in the global sports industry and to contribute to the prosperous international sports landscape – in three key areas: 1) Spectator Sports (media & marketing business), 2) Participation Sports (active lifestyle business), 3) Services (digital, production and service business). Wanda Sports Holding incorporates the international sports marketing company Infront Sports & Media, the iconic endurance brand IRONMAN, and Wanda Sports China. The headquarters are in Guangzhou, China.

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 $50,000,000 has been provided through IRONMAN Foundation programs to more than 6,300 local, regional, national and global nonprofit initiatives. Through these partnerships, IRONMAN athletes are powerfully linked to the community and together we leave the IRONMAN legacy behind in our race communities long after event day. For more information on IRONMAN Foundation programs, including Team IMF, Community Fund, Your Journey Your Cause, and Women For Tri, visit www.ironmanfoundation.org.