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  • Champions for Life: What Dance & Running Teaches Kids

    Sports offers more than just an advantage in the physical abilities department to kids. Known personalities share the life lessons they've learned from it.
    by Nikki Constantino and Maika Bernardo .

    Ani de Leon-Brown
    Triathlon coach and Ironkids race director

    Ani de Leon-Brown

    Stay focused
    From day-one training to race day, a triathlon challenges an athlete’s threshold, says Ani de Leon-Brown. For a kid-triathlete, this sort of mental conditioning applies to where it counts: the classroom. “Studies have shown that physical activity helps kids perform better in academic subjects, as it improves concentration,” she says.

    Feel the thrill of competition
    Athletes say there’s a rush unlike any other when one conquers a triathlon. Tri-training encourages a child’s emotional and social development as he gets to experience the highs of finishing a race, says de Leon-Brown.

    Sunny outlook
    Competing in a triathlon helps kids develop a love for the outdoors as they take to the waters to swim and the terrain to run and bike, says de Leon-Brown. In addition, its physical requirements “decreases anxiety, reduces depression, and improves mood and outlook in children,” stresses running-legend-turned-coach Uta Pippig.

    Builds self-esteem
    Finishing a triathlon is anything but easy, according to de Leon-Brown. When a child undergoes tri-training and eventually races, a strong sense of fulfillment forms within. When crossing the finish line, his confidence inevitably rises.

    Push yourself
    Athletes of this sport compete both against themselves and the conditions of the sport’smulti-events (running, biking, and swimming). Tri-kids learn how to adapt easily and power through certain situations as they tackle obstacles of the different courses, says de Leon-Brown.


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