By Christine Sampson
The East End’s own nonprofit organization i-tri — Transformation Through Triathlon, which builds self-confidence, healthy habits and leadership skills for adolescent girls through triathlon training and after-school workshops — is in the running for an internationally prestigious Beyond Sport award.
Beyond Sport is a globally-focused entity that says it is dedicated to “sustainable social change through sport.” For the last eight years it has recognized what it calls “impactful and innovative” nonprofit efforts that also accomplish that goal.
On par with 36 other organizations that were nominated from among 250 entrants across 70 countries, i-tri has the chance to receive a $50,000 grant from Beyond Sport. i-tri is shortlisted in the “Sport for Health and Well-being” category, the organization recently announced.
“We are incredibly excited about this opportunity,” Theresa Roden, i-tri’s founder, said in an interview last week. “If you look at the globe and all the pins on globe where all these organizations are from, it’s pretty impressive that we’re going to be on a world stage.”
i-tri is nominated alongside Let Her Choose — Tackle Africa, based in Tanzania, an organization that works to end female genital mutilation and child marriage, which have been shown to cause physical and psychological harm to girls, according to the Tackle Africa program. Let Her Choose organizes soccer activities for men and women that accomplish its goals. The third organization nominated in the “Sport for Health and Well-being” category is Imagine Your Goals — Everton in the Community, a fitness and counseling program that tackles mental health issues, sponsored by the Everton soccer club in the U.K. Premier League.
Ms. Roden said i-tri’s nomination came as the result of a dedicated effort by its outreach director, Kathryn Perry, who worked on its application package to the Beyond Sport awards. i-tri had applied in years past but fell short until this year. Ms. Perry was charged with showing the ways i-tri’s own goals align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which address issues such as extreme poverty, inequality, climate change and more.
“It’s like a grant application,” Ms. Roden said. “It’s pretty rigorous.”
Even if i-tri does not win in its category, Ms. Roden said it will receive other forms of support from Beyond Sport, for instance help with marketing, press and networking, at the annual Beyond Sport conference in July.
“Even if we don’t win a penny, just the exposure and contacts we can make will be priceless to us,” she said.