FINIS PHILIPPINES UNVEILS COLLABORATION WITH TRAP TO STRENGTHEN TRIATHLON GRASSROOTS PROGRAM text

FINIS Philippines and the Triathlon Association of the Philippines (TRAP) unfold their collaboration to boost the grassroots development program of aspiring young triathletes in the country.

The partnership will let FINIS Philippines bring back the 15-and-below kids’ triathlon and aquathlon competitions, enrich grassroots programs, and provide swimming and triathlon gear.

TRAP will officially sanction future FINIS triathlon events.“The focus is on the revival of the kids’ triathlon from TRAP to FINIS Philippines,” said FINIS Philippines managing director Coach Vince Garcia, who got the nod from TRAP after his discussion with TRAP president Tom Carrasco and national coach Rick Reyes.

Reyes considers the partnership as “synergistic” and “compatible” as both FINIS and TRAP share a common goal: to strengthen the national developmental team before they peak in high school and college.“Vince and FINIS are helping us fill up that vacuum, especially for the kid’s group.

We haven’t had any activities at the kids’ level in a long time. He’s very welcome,” said Reyes.Reyes added, “The partnership hits the 15-and-below age group, and we’re conscious of long-term athletic development.” FINIS will bring back the Super Tri Kids Races, now dubbed the KIDS OF STEEL (KOS) Triathlon, debuting on March 27 in the New Clark City Aquatic Center in Tarlac.

KOS is also a parallel event of the FINIS Short Course Swim Competition.The KOS series continues in the Visayas Leg (Boracay) this May 14 and Mindanao Leg TBA. The National Finals will kick off on late June or early July in New Clark City.Garcia shares their excitement as they get back after a long wait since the last kids’ triathlon in 2019. He added that many kids want to get into triathlon.“We do tri-clinics for kids. We make visits in different provinces where we handle clinics too. From there, we encourage kids to join the race.

So by joining these races, we may eventually stumble upon the likes of Marion Kim Mangrobang, who started in kids triathlon,” said Garcia.Mangrobang is a three-time Southeast Asian (SEA) Games gold medallist. In March, she also brought home a bronze medal in the 2022 Asia Triathlon Duathlon Championships Manama Elite Women category in Bahrain.

INCORPORATING FUN AND DISCIPLINE

Garcia commended TRAP because the organization embraced an open-to-all and winning culture, which complements FINIS’ mantra of “simplify swimming.”“Our athletes are good, and it’s because TRAP didn’t make themselves exclusive. They opened it to all,” Garcia said, “Triathlon has been getting gold left and right ever since. Winning has been a trend. We’re probably known as the powerhouse in Asia in triathlon.”The country already has an array of multi-titled triathletes alongside Mangrobang, such as Nikko Huelgas, Maria Claire Adorna, and John Chicano.“

Triathlon is not an easy sport, but the key is making the children have fun,” said Garcia, “I train them in other things. They don’t even know that they’re training.”On the other hand, Reyes agreed with Garcia, “We believe that age group should be exposed but kept fun and not too competitive.

At that age, it should emphasize that racing is enjoyable, fun, without much pressure.”“Kids are not little adults. They have their own physiological, psychological, and physical needs. They are different from adults,” Reyes emphasized.Garcia said that he teaches them to play Pinoy parlor games, like "patintero", "tumbang preso" which already involves running and jumping. He said, “When we’re doing swim sessions, we’re doing cannonball jumps. We also do the plakda dive to know sino yung pinakaplakda."He stated, “Sometimes, we even have the slowest swimmer race. Actually, that’s very good training. When you swim, you use the right form. If you can maintain your form while swimming very slowly, you have basic foundations.”

COACHING MATTERS

Both hands-on coaches themselves, Reyes and Garcia, shared the importance of coaching as setting up the tempo for the athletes.Reyes said, “A good youth coach tries to present drills differently, making it like games. They don’t have to push the athlete too much. So they don’t burn out.”

Garcia, meanwhile, complemented what Reyes said,” I’ve been teaching all the other coaches also. Let them have fun. Don’t kill them to do training because they’re just kids. Anytime they get into high school, they will quit because they’re burnt out already.Reyes believes grassroots training needs to focus on “skills but not too intense and demanding.”

Garcia also shares the same opinion. He said that elite-level training can wait until college, where athletes peak at that age.

Both Reyes and Garcia hope to continue the tie-up long-term to maximize athlete development in the country while planning for more triathlon and aquathlon events. .

FINIS PHILIPPINES KICKS OFF COMPETITION SERIES IN NEW CLARK CITY

More than two years after the pandemic halted all sporting events, FINIS Philippines is ready to kick off its exciting Luzon leg of its swimming and triathlon competitions this March. 
In partnership with BCDA-Clark, the Short Course Swim Competition Series (March 26-27) and Kids of Steel Triathlon (March 27) will take place in the New Clark City Aquatic Center in Capas town, Tarlac. 

Although the competition series will take place in Luzon, registration is still ongoing and open to all athletes nationwide. 

Some of the swimmers who will take on the challenge are National Team record holder Jasmine Mojdeh and multiple-time Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Athlete of the Year Kyla Soguilon. Hopefully national record holders such as Thanya dela Cruz and Jerard Jacinto may fimd their way into the series inspite of their hectic training schedules leading to the upcoming SEA Games in Hanoi, Vietnam. All of them are FINIS Philippines brand ambassadors. 

Instead of serving as sponsors, FINIS Philippines will usher the pack as lead organizers and take in a competitive but fun atmosphere. 

Finis Managing Director Coach Vince Garcia said that swimming has been a competition for a long time already, but multi-sport events have overshadowed the former. 

“Events, like the Ironman Triathlon races raised the competition standards in terms of the athlete’s experience today. In swimming events, only the winners have pleasant moments. But the regular swimmers don’t get any special experience. We wanted to change that concept.” said Garcia. 

Garcia said that they expect high competition but fun vibes. He added that they would have FINIS swags and freebies like no other and buffet services for the athletes, FINIS booths, and concessionaires. 

FINIS Philippines also tied up with BCDA for participants to access the Athlete’s Village. Athletes, at their own expense, can book there at highly discounted rate. 

SHORT COURSE SWIM COMPETITION SERIES 

The two-day competition series’ heats will all be timed finals. Swimmers will swim in heats at multi-age levels, and the final results will be sorted by respective age group. 

The series will feature eight Age Groups based on the swimmer’s age as of December 31, 2022. It will have the 6-years and under, 7-8 years old, 9-10 years old, 11-12 years old, 13-14 years old, 15-16 years old, 17-18 years old, and 19-Above. 

This June, the 16 best swimmers in each event from the combined results in the Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao competition will qualify for the FINIS National Finals in the New Clark City Aquatic Center. 

The short course abides by the Federation Internationale de Natation (FINA) rules. 

FINIS KIDS OF STEEL TRIATHLON

Finis being conscious of the vacuum created by the cessation of the Super Tri Kids Races since 2019, reached out to the Triathlon Association of the Philippines (TRAP) and offered to continue the triathlon for kids under the KID OF STEEL (KOS) TRIATHLON, which is debuting on March 27 as a parallel event of the Finis Short Course Swim Competition.

The Finis KOS Triathlon,  officially sanctioned by TRAP, will now continue a grassroots level of scouting potential young triathletes that may be asked to join the developmental training team of TRAP. Finis has pledged assistance to TRAP and support their young developmental team in forms of swim training equipment as well as triathlon apparel.

The Kids of Steel Triathlon will follow the previous STK age groups and course distances. 

The 6-Under category will have a 40m swim, 700m bike, and 200m run. The 7-8 Age Group will compete in a 40m swim, 1.5K bike, and 200m run course. The 9-10 Age Group will take part in the 40m swim, 2K bike, and 1.5K run. The 11-12 Age Group will participate in the 200m swim, 4K bike, and 1.5K run, and the 13-15 Age Group will compete in the 300m swim, 8K bike, and 2K run course. 

The Top-3 Boys and Top-3 Girls per age group will be awarded with very nice and meticulously made medals. 

HEALTH AND SAFETY PROTOCOLS 

FINIS Philippines will open working spaces and deploy personnel to ensure health and safety protocols are respected. 

Garcia said, “We’re following what the Level 1 restrictions are and what’s allowed. The authorities have allowed 100% capacity, but we still have to abide by basic health and safety protocols, like wearing proper face masks, sanitising, and social distancing.”

Triathletes have to request a medical certificate of fit to race for the triathlon races and sign a waiver, health declaration, and Pledge of Adherence to safety protocols.

Minor athletes need to have parental consent before joining the race. 

The organizers also have a post-race protocol that will need everyone, including organizers and athletes, in the triathlon to undergo self-quarantine for seven days. They will continue to monitor the participants’ health after the event. 

IN THE LONG TERM 

After the Luzon Leg, FINIS Philippines will spearhead the Visayas Leg this April 23-24 and Mindanao Leg on May 28-29. The National Finals is slated for June 4-5 for both the Short Course Swim Competition and the Kids of Steel Triathlon.

Garcia noted that they’re thrilled for the next couple of years’ swimming and triathlon events. Aside from handling the WetSHOP Todo Triathlon Clinics, the ASCA Swim Coaching Certifications and a Para-Triathlon Team, they’re pushing for more races under FINIS Philippines which includes Aquathlons and Open Water Swim races. 

He said, “We are working to have a three-year institutionalised cooperation with New Clark City Aquatic Center. We have signed the utilisation of the swimming facilities for the March events and under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) we are working to  host these and other similar events for the next three years. Finis will be expanding the competition series to Visayas and Mindanao. Then go back to New Clark City Aquatic Center for the Finis National Finals.” 

“We’re taking a huge leap as we want everyone to get a chance to compete in any of the legs,” said Garcia.

Multi-titled tanker Kyla Soguilon is flanked by Olympian swimmers Garry Hall Jr. (left) and his father Garry Hall Sr. (right) during her swim training camp at The Race Club at Coronado, California.

Expect Kyla Soguilon to make more waves this year.

This after the country’s top junior swimmer from Aklan beefed up her skills by undergoing training in one of the best swim training camps last month.

Soguilon’s father and mentor Kokoy told Cebu Daily News (CDN) that the 13-year-old multi-titled tanker trained in the US under the tutelage of renowned American Olympian gold medalists Gary Hall Sr. and his son, Gary Jr.

She had her training at The Race Club Swim Camp in Coronado, California, which is owned by Hall Sr. uses scientifically-based methods in swim training. 

Soguilon is a three-in-a-row Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) junior athlete of the year awardee and a two-time Most Outstanding Swimmer of the Palarong Pambansa.

She is expected to show off her bolstered form in the Western Visayas Regional Athletic Association (WVRAA) next month in Iloilo. She will then compete for the first time in the secondary division in the Palarong Pambansa this April in Vigan, Ilocos Sur.

The swim camp in the USA is very timely because Kyla is preparing herself for the Palarong Pambansa where she will compete in the secondary division for the first time. 

Before she flew to California, Kyla, a grade seven student of the Regional Science High School of Aklan won five gold medals in the Batang Pinoy Visayas Games held in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental last November. (Cebu Daily News)




Dave Scott in the Philippines

"The Man" Dave Scott, 6-time Ironman Kona Champion, Finis Brand Ambassador, visited the FInis booth at  the Ironman  Philippines to meet and greet Finis fans.

Finis Philippines Partners with the 2018 Palarong Pambansa Once Again

For the third year in a row Finis Philippines has been chosen to be the Official Swim Partner of the 2018 Palarong Pambansa for its National Swim Tournament. Our gratitude to the Department of Education and to the Vigan, Ilocos Sur LGU for making it happen again.

Finis Philippines started being the Offcial Swim Partner of the Palarong Pambansa in 2016 at Legaspi City at Albay then followed by  San Jose de Buenavista City at Antique for 2017 and now at Vigan City in  Ilocos Sur for 2018. 

Seeing action from Team FinisPH at this National Swim Tournament after qualifying from their regional meets are ace  swimmers  Kyla Soguilon, Jasmine Mojdeh, Jerald Jacinto, Jux Solita, Jalil Taguinod, Arbeen Thruelen and Thanya de la Cruz.

Finis Philippines wishes all the qualified swimmers competing in Vigan City the best of luck on top of the hard work they did with their swim coaches to bring them to this prestigious swim tournament.