Inspired by gratitude for the support she received as a young athlete, a Vanier grad is attempting to raise $3,250 through her latest athletic endeavour to benefit KidSport Comox Valley.
On July 24, Alyson Schmidt will be competing in the Ironman Canada triathlon in Whistler. But for Schmidt, it’s more than a race – it’s the culmination of a personal project of passion that benefits young girls in sport.
“As a kid growing up in the Valley I was able to participate in all sorts of sports because of the great support from my family, and sports has always been a huge positive influence in my life,” she says.
“But for some kids, getting the chance to play organized sports isn’t an option. So I decided to start a project that would not only encourage me to train for an Ironman but would also benefit those kids.”
Schmidt started a fundraising campaign called “The Road to Excellence” to benefit KidSport Comox Valley, the local chapter of a national charity that covers the costs of organized sport registration fees for more than 75,000 Canadian youth annually – close to 100 in the Comox Valley alone.
“Essentially, it costs $250 for one child to play one season of sport,” says Schmidt. “My vision for the project was to raise enough funds to get a girl from the Valley a season of play for every hour I am on the race course. I estimate the race will take me about 13 hours to complete, so that means $3,250.”
The race itself consists of a 3.8-kilometre swim followed by 180 kilometres by bike and finishing with a marathon-length run of 42.2 kilometres.
This will be Schmidt’s first Ironman, though she has done numerous long-distance races, including the Boston and Chicago marathons. A lifelong athlete, she played basketball in university while attaining a degree in Sports Management. It was through her work with a national sports marketing agency that she made connections with KidSport.
“I just love what KidSport stands for, and being able to direct funds specifically back to my home community is great. The work that co-ordinator Allan Perich and the volunteers do through the local chapter is just awesome.
“I personally know how sports can make a difference in a one’s life, especially young girls. This passion project is about making the most of 140.6 amazing miles and giving back to the community that taught me to reach for the stars.”
To donate to The Road to Excellence campaign, visit https://secure.e2rm.com/registrant/donate.aspx?eventid=199473&langpref=en-CA&Referrer=direct/none. To learn more about KidSport Comox Valley, visit http://www.kidsportcanada.ca/british-columbia/comox-valley/