Photo via: Hampton University
Last week, Hampton University stakeholders announced a new collaboration with USA Triathlon to add women’s triathlon to their roster of varsity sports. With this announcement, Hampton "becomes the first Historically Black College and University (HBCU) to participate in the sport on a varsity level, reports Hampton University News.
Hampton received a $225,000 grant from the USA Triathlon Foundation to support the start of this new varsity sport on campus. The grant funds were reserved by the foundation specifically for an HBCU to use to hopefully encourage more diversity in triathlon participation. Funds will be distributed over a period of five years and will support the purchase of equipment, coach compensation, and travel expenses to build a sustainable varsity-level program.
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Hampton University President Dr. William R. Harvey and Director of Athletics Eugene Marshall, Jr. announced Tuesday that with the assistance of USA Triathlon, Hampton University will introduce Women’s Triathlon as the 19th varsity sport starting in the Fall of 2019. Hampton becomes the first Historically Black College and University (HBCU) to participate in the sport at the varsity level.
Hampton President, Dr. William R. Harvey, said during the announcement ceremony: "This is another example of Hampton University leading the way. I am proud of the Department of Athletics team that made the Hampton University Women’s Triathlon program a reality."
Hampton's new sport will officially be introduced in the Fall of 2019. In the interim, Athletic Department staff will begin recruitment efforts to identify a full-time coach for the sport and interested student-athletes to begin to craft the experience of the triathlon program. Equipment will be purchased and community partnerships will be initiated to help to support the formation of the new program.
For a sport that historically has lacked the participation of African Americans to now be housed on the campus of an Internationally recognized HBCU, new interest in the sport is sure to be sparked. Dr. Tekemia Dorsey, CEO of the International Association of Black Triathletes added: "Hampton University’s partnership with USA Triathlon provides a pathway into the collegiate arena for the sport at an HBCU for little Black girls and girls from urban communities around the world... I am ecstatic to see it come to fruition. Historic, groundbreaking, monumental. Great job, Hampton University and USA Triathlon!"