I-Tri: Swim-a-thon Is Saturday

The I-Tri program is training 140 middle school girls to compete in the Hamptons Youth Triathlon in July. Some of them will take part in a swim-a-thon on Saturday. Durell Godfrey

A swim-a-thon on Saturday at the Y.M.C.A. East Hampton RECenter, in which 95 middle school-age girls will participate, will be held from 1 to 3:30 p.m. as a benefit for I-Tri, a nonprofit program that promotes leadership and life skills for girls through encouragement and athletics. 

I-Tri is hoping for the community to come out and support Saturday’s swimmers, who all attend schools from Montauk to Tuckahoe. They are part of a group of 140 middle schoolers who will compete in the Hamptons Youth Triathlon in July, when each girl will attempt a 300-yard bay swim, a seven-mile bike leg, and a mile-and-a-half run. 

The other 45 girls will participate in another swim-a-thon next week at a pool in the William Floyd School District.

All participants are encouraged to raise $50 each through sponsorships by family and friends. According to Cindy Morris, the chief operating officer of I-Tri, the money raised will help offset the cost of a swimming coach who is working with the girls in preparation for their open water swim in July.

“Nobody is required to raise the money,” said Ms. Morris. “Whatever they can raise is great and we’ve even made it clear to those who may not have access to a sponsor, that we’ll find someone for them. Everyone will feel like they’re a part of this program.”

The swim-a-thon will mark the end of the girls’ indoor pool training, which began in February, when several of the girls did not know how to swim. Now, proficient enough to swim in open water, their training will continue at Long Beach in Sag Harbor. Concurrently, they will also train for their bike ride and run.

“Adolescent girls go through a tough time when they are unsure of who they are, of how they fit in,” Theresa Roden, the founder and executive director of I-Tri, once said in describing the program. “I-Tri gives them a common ground, something they can be a part of that is bigger than themselves. It’s about empowerment.”

Those interested in sponsoring an I-Tri athlete or simply making a donation can do so at itrigirls.org.