Exercise to Achievement starts up its third year in just two weeks!

I’m starting to realize that January-March is the busiest time of the year for us.  Not only are we working on securing venues, filling out permits, renewing insurance, and securing sponsors, but we’re also gearing up for the most time-intensive part of Tri 4 Schools – the Exercise to Achievement program.  Our after-school life skills and triathlon training program is gearing up to begin in just a few short weeks, and we’re working hard to get all the pieces in place.  Thankfully, we have Melissa on board now, who has been a huge help in putting this program together.

For a bit of background, we recognized in 2013 that we wanted to make a bigger impact on the health of kids in our community, and decided that something that would allow for more consistent involvement would be a great way to instill healthy lifestyles.  Through a start-up grant from the Foundation for Madison’s Public Schools, and the work of six MMSD schools, the Exercise to Achievement program was born in 2014.  After a pilot year that debuted to over 200 kids, we realized we were on to something!

In 2015, we formalized the curriculum, and began to focus on creating a holistic program for kids that encompassed the three big pieces of health: exercise, nutrition, and mental health.  A big piece of the growth in 2015 was the implementation of nutrition curriculum, thanks to our friends at Dean & St. Mary’s and UnityPoint Health – Meriter.

Now in 2016, we’re SO excited to partner with little om BIG OM to offer mindfulness, yoga, and meditation practices that we will integrate into our warm-ups, cool-down, and even a pre-race visualization practice that kids can use any time.

We’ve finalized ten sites for our spring program, where kids will train to complete our Waunakee triathlon on April 30th, and we have two confirmed summer sites (details are still TBD) – Harbor Athletic Club and Prairie Athletic Club.   With races in each of these communities, it makes perfect sense to partner with these folks to offer a program for kids.  We’re also working with other community-based sites to find 2-3 additional offerings this summer.

For details on this program, and to find out how YOU can be involved, check out the Exercise to Achievement page on our website.  Get ready for another year of healthy, active learners!