Equally Inspiring aims to grow female participation rates through mentorship.

Equally Inspiring aims to grow female participation rates through mentorship.

A new initiative by women’s advocacy group TriEqual is recruiting 40 women to receive three months of free coaching from some of the sport’s top names. The program, called Equally Inspiring, aims to grow female participation rates in triathlon through mentorship from a roster of volunteer coaches, including professional triathletes Rachel Joyce, Brandon Marsh and Hillary Biscay.

“Equally Inspiring is designed to break down barriers for women who want to enter triathlon or take their performance to a higher level,” says Sara Gross, TriEqual president. “Whether those barriers are financial, physical, geographical or they just don’t know where to start, with 40 coaches, we can help selected athletes get the best advice whatever their situation.”

Women of all ages and abilities are encouraged to apply for the program via TriEqual.org. Those selected for Equally Inspiring will be matched with their own personal coach to achieve individual goals over the course of three months, be it a longer distance or a first-ever finish line.

“Triathlon can be intimidating for those looking from the outside in, so I think Equally Inspiring is a way allow people to learn about the sport.” says Joyce of her decision to volunteer her time and knowledge as a coach for new triathletes.

“We’re giving 40 women the chance to tell their friends that they accomplished something that some of them may have been apprehensive about in the months prior,” adds Marsh, who is also donating coaching services. “To me, it is a worthwhile way to give back to the tri community.”

Triathlon coaches have pledged more than $40,000 of free services for new and existing women in triathlon, all with the hope beneficiaries will pay it forward one day by serving as an ambassador for women in the sport.

“Who knows? One woman participating may then share the sport with her friends and bring more women into the sport,” says Joyce. “It’s all about reaching new audiences.”

The deadline to apply for Equally Inspiring is Oct. 12. More information can be found on TriEqual.org.

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