By TAYLOR HARTZ
Southington kids will have an opportunity to compete in a triathlon again this summer, while honoring the memory of Chase Kowalski, a 6-year-old victim of the Sandy Hook shootings.
The “Race 4 Chase” was established in 2013 in memory of Kowalski, who loved to run, swim, and bike.
His parents, Rebecca and Steve Kowalski, started the CMAK (Chase Michael Anthony Kowalski) Sandy Hook Memorial Foundation as a way to honor their son’s love of triathlons, and to promote healthy, fun, community activities for local youth.
In its fourth year, the Southington Community YMCA will host the Race 4 Chase at Camp Sloper, following a six-week training program.
“Race for Chase has been an inspirational and impactful addition to our YMCA,” said outdoor director Mark Pooler, “This program builds friendships, raises self-confidence, increases the health and physical fitness and is all about supporting kids in memory of Chase.”
Training for Southington participants will take place at Sloper on weekdays from Mon., June 27, to Sat. Aug. 6, from 8:45a.m. to 11:30a.m.
On race day, children from several local YMCA’s will come to the camp to compete.
“The enthusiasm, spirit, and love felt by the participants, the families, the coaches, the volunteers and the spectators was very inspiring and powerful,” said YMCA Executive Director John Myers of last year’s event.
Due to limited enrollment, applications will be evaluated with priority given to those “indicating a sincere desire to participate for the complete duration of the program.”
Applications can be picked up from the Southington Community YMCA or by contacting Jolene Miceli at 860-426-9589 or firstname.lastname@example.org and are due back no later than April 4.
A parent information meeting on the program will be held on May 3 from 6:30p.m. to 7:30p.m. at the YMCA.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Taylor Hartz, email her at THartz@SouthingtonObserver.com.