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Calgary triathlon community supports Cuban triathletes and cyclists

Credit: Inspire Sport
Credit: Inspire Sport

From press release with files from Richelle Love.

Young triathletes and cyclists in Cuba will soon benefit from the generosity of the Calgary triathlon community, including coaches, athletes and triathlon retailer Tri It Multisport.

On April 18th, nine members of a Calgary triathlon group called “Inspire Sport” will head down to Cuba and bring with them swimming, cycling and running equipment for donation to the national cycling and triathlon programs as well as Cuba’s national sports school (ESFA Giraldo Cordova Cardin).

The young Cuban athletes in these programs currently have poor equipment, if any at all, and will greatly benefit from the donations for their training.

“The equipment they have is not suited to any sort of proper training. No swim caps or goggles to swim with, lane ropes held up with empty pop bottles and running shoes shared among the athletes,” says Rose Serpico, member of Inspire Sport and owner of Tri It Multisport.

Serpico offered to collect donated gear at her store and used social media to engage the local triathlon community. Calgary athletes and coaches responded with donations of high-demand items such as bike parts, Garmin bike computers, swim accessories and triathlon clothing.

Serpico’s daughter Madi, a pro triathlete, is an ambassador for More Than Sport, a group of pro athletes who use their platform to volunteer for communities in need. She and her group teamed up with Inspire Sport and helped draw attention to the cause. Skechers and Strava have now also donated to the program.

The Inspire Sport group will travel from Havana to Varadero to deliver the equipment. While in Cuba they will meet with the national teams, help organize a triathlon for a local community and take footage of “a day in the life” of a professional cyclist, who unlike cyclists on pro racing teams in Europe or North America, earns approximately $40 per month.

More info here.