By Kate Quesada
Does your young athlete love to swim, bike and run? If so, the Osprey Youth MultiSport group has a lot to offer them.
The group, which supplies support for youths aged 7 to 12 years old, is gearing up for its training season and is looking for new members.
Group founder, Nicki Clay, started Osprey Youth MultiSport in 2014 when she and her family moved to FishHawk and found there were no training groups closer than St. Petersburg for youths interested in completing triathlons.
“My daughter missed training and racing with a group of like-minded youth athletes so myself and a friend decided to start one,” said Clay whose 10-year-old daughter Macey has participated in 50 triathlons.
According to Clay, the group meets as much as twice a week more during triathlon season, which typically starts in early March and ends in September, but holds frequent bike, swim and running events during the rest of the year.
“Our main goal is to help the sport grow and to encourage the youth in the FishHawk area to give it a try,” said Clay. “It is unlike any of the other sports teams being offered as it encompasses three disciplines into one race.”
Clay added that one advantage of the group is that most members also participate in other sports and there is no fee to join, as long as parents are willing to help out.
Although new athletes should be able to swim 50 yards unassisted and ride a bike without training wheels, the group is open to almost everyone.
“The beauty of this sport,” said Clay “is that any child can jump in at any age. It’s not like a competitive sport where one needs to get their foot in the door at age 6. All levels are represented at any given race. You don’t have to excel at all three disciplines either.”
Group members have recently participated in races all over Florida, including the Tampa Bay Youth Triathlon at Adventure Island and a race on the campus of the University of Florida in Gainesville. Two athletes traveled to the USAT Youth Nationals triathlon in Ohio in August with 9-year-old FishHawk resident Brayden Howard placing 10th in his age group.
Contact Clay at email@example.com for more.