The Triathlon Federation is best known for its involvement in many athletic events, but the organization has another important purpose.
President Scott Fricks said “Our mission is to identify and develop young triathletes and put them on the path to the Olympics,” With that in mind, the federation runs several youth-only triathlons throughout the year.
Fricks said there are many youths who are becoming fine triathletes. Two now in their 20s used their youthful experience with the federation to forge names for themselves on the triathlete circuit. Fricks said former St. Croix resident Morgan Locke, who now lives on St. Thomas, is headed for the upcoming Pan American Games, a stepping stone to the Olympics. Sissel Holloway, who now attends Springfield College in Massachusetts, has qualified to participate in an upcoming U.S.A. Triathlon event in Burlington, Vt.
The organization puts out a newsletter, which Jude Woodcock, vice-president for St. Thomas and St. John, said was useful for everyone from beginners to longtime members to learn about upcoming events. The federation has a long history, but it languished until 2009 when Fricks and others brought it back to life. In addition to Fricks, Harper and Woodcock. The organizations officers Roger Hatfield as vice-president for St. Croix, Carol Murphy as treasurer and Barbara Dean as kids series coordinator.
Federation members come from across the Virgin Islands and a few from the nearby British Virgin Islands. Most are elite athletes who relish the challenges that come with swimming, bicycling and running in one event, but Fricks said that some just come because they want to encourage up and coming athletes.