It’s been said that it takes a village to raise a child, and this was something that was definitely on full display at last August’s Alaska IronKids event in Mactan, Cebu, which saw racers ready to compete, along with their families, who had come out to support them.
Inspiringly, whether families were there to wave signs or give last minute advice, prior to gun start, they looked as excited to be there as the competitors themselves, if not more so.
“It’s a great motivation for the entire family, and honestly, I never get tired of it,” said Sherry Simsuangco, whose son, Matthew, was taking part in the race for the very first time.
“You don’t want to push them too much,” said multiple IronMan champion Noy Jopson, speaking as the father of Alaska IronKids Mikele and Raffa. “You want to keep it fun.”
Beyond the physical aspects of the sport, the parents PlayPH spoke with, all agreed on the benefit of taking on sports to aid in the development of their children’s character.
“Racing itself is a little bit like life,” says IronKids parent Janice Alcantara, adding that, in the case of her daughter, Gavynne, “She learns to become more focused and determined, and that it really does pay off when you work hard.”
Making the displays of familial love all the more meaningful was the fact that, while triathlon isn’t necessarily seen as a team sport, it all depends on one’s definition of “team”. After all, when it comes to kids, regardless of whatever sport or endeavor they choose to partake in, their biggest supporters would always be their families.