They could be the newest generation of world class triathletes and Ironman competitors.
But for now they’re just little kids savoring summer fun.
There are 30 of ‘em — age six to 11 — attending the Dos Pueblos Kids Triathlon Camp this week.
And on Saturday morning they’ll put these swimming, biking and running skills to the test at the Santa Barbara Kids Triathlon – also being held right here at the DPHS sports complex.
For many, it will be their first official triathlon experience.
And make no mistake – this is ‘the real deal.’
At camp, they learn valuable tips on conditioning … breathing & swimming strokes … timely transitions … and safety.
“It’s not all about training – there are games so everyone has fun, too,” says Grant Schroeder, 16. He
serves as Camp Director and will be a DP junior in the fall.
He’s now busy explaining today’s game plan, as the well-behaved campers sit quietly in the eastern sideline bleachers on the DP pool deck. They’ll soon be divided into two groups: Ironmen (older campers) & Olympians (younger ones). Then the coaches work closely with them in smaller units for more specialized training.
Schroeder, like the other nine camp coaches, are already well-established DPHS student-athletes doing volunteer community service for their school and giving back to others. Most, if not all, have over 4.0 GPAs.
Yes, these are the high school students that make every parent proud.
They ‘re totally invested and all camp proceeds (nearly $5K) help their school’s athletic programs and those sports in which they individually participate during the school year.
Serving as Camp Advisor is Joe Zamora, DP head hoops coach.
Dawn Schroeder, Founder of Momentum-4-Life (M4L), a local training group, helps with administrative
And assisting from the sidelines is local triathlete and swim coach Marcie Kjoller, who founded the camp eight years ago, in close association with M4L.
After a year off – the camp has a new name … a new look … and a fresh new prospective.
“We’re glad to offer the camp this year,” says Advisor Zamora.” It’s fun to see how excited the campers are and how hard they are working! And these coaches are excellent role models and mentors.”
Along with their training, campers learn ‘the basics’ of helping others and giving back to the community.
And with all the proceeds from Saturday’s SB Kids Triathlon benefitting Special Olympics of Santa
Barbara — these campers have already voluntarily jumped ‘the starter’s gun’ and started a coin
collection to assist this same cause.
On their own, they eagerly deposit a few coins before each training session.
“They’re inspired by young Leisl Kjoller, who doesn’t communicate with words. She came to camp and shared her Special Olympic medals while her mom, Marcie explained how sports have made a positive difference in her life,” the elder Schroeder said.
“We are going to give Special Olympics all this money so that they can do sports,” Julia McEachen, age 9, told Presidio Sports while holding two Ziplock bags full of coins and bills, along with the biggest smile.
And about these camp coaches….
It’s hard to determine who is having more fun – them or the campers!
Just ask Max Silva…
“It’s so rewarding! I’m glad I didn’t miss this,” says Silva – a 2011 DP grad who is heading to Santa Clara University next month. He works his lifeguard gigs at the DP Pool and Tennis Club of Santa Barbara around his camp coaching responsibilities.
“It’s really fun and the campers are wonderful,” echoes Coach Katie Issaris, 15.
She has come full-circle, you might say – Issaris is one of the original campers from eight years ago.
For her, it was — and continues to be — a special opportunity to be close to her dad — a decorated triathlete who passed away earlier that first camp year.
“This year’s camp is awesome! And the coaches are some of the best kids in Santa Barbara, as far as I am concerned,” says Dan Feldhaus, DP Athletic Director. “They are a wonderful reflection of our DP student-athletes who make our school … our community … and our world … a much better place.”
And on Saturday morning – they’ll get to see something new…
Their little triathlon protégés in action!!
Get ready….on your mark …
MEET THE DP TRIATHLON CAMP COACHING TEAM
Forbes Bainou — Cross Country, Track
Wes Cooperman — Cross Country, Track
Max Davis — Cross Country, Track
Bryan Fernandez — Cross Country, Track
Katie Issaris — Volleyball, Track
Nic Lum — Swimming, Water Polo
Grant Schroeder — basketball, Swimming, Water Polo
Max Silva — Swimming, Track, Water polo
Rachel Smith — Diving, Soccer, Track
Ben York — Baseball, Cross Country