For many children, signing up for the Alaska IronKids isn’t strictly a matter of competing to climb a podium or score a medal, it’s about having a great deal of fun. And, as far as their parents are concerned, they’re all too happy to support them because an active lifestyle, in any form, boasts benefits both mental and physical development.
“A year ago, I was really lazy, but now I’m really active and I really like swimming.” says Alaska IronKid, Gavynne Alcantara, who came to join this year’s event in Mactan, Cebu all the way from California, where her family is based.
Aside from helping kids build confidence and energy, taking sports early on helps children to avoid becoming overly-attached to their gadgets and, in the case of outdoor activities like triathlon, introduces them to the beauty of nature.
For those who might be looking to get into triathlon as a sport but are intimidated or worried about the racing aspect, professional athlete and coach Ani De Leon Brown points out that a number of participants join to be with their friends, meet new people, or, just simply to enjoy themselves.
And, true enough, for anyone lucky to have attended the most recent Alaska IronKids event in Mactan, the evidence for Coach Ani’s comments were all around, with smiles, laughter, and an overall sense of enthusiasm sustained all throughout the proceedings.
While everyone knows the saying about winning isn’t as important as how one plays, it’s easy to forget the most important part of that statement: When all is said and done, games are meant to be played, and if you keep that in mind, the fun will be sure to follow.