By ITU Admin on 07/04/05 at 12:00 am
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (April 7, 2005) – The USA Triathlon Board of Directors has announced that April 2, which was the eighth anniversary of the tragic death of Judy Flannery, will be declared the birthday of the Women’s Commission and will be honored in future years.
Triathlete and USA Triathlon member Judy Flannery was the first president of USAT’s Women’s Commission, modeled by Dottie Dorion on the International Triathlon Union’s Women’s Commission.
Flannery was killed while on a training ride just weeks after beginning the Women’s Commission, the purpose of which is to get women into multi-sport.
Since Flannery’s death in 1997, the number of women in triathlon and multi-sport has exploded.
In 1997, the number of female members of USA Triathlon was less than 20 percent. By 2004, that number had grown to 34 percent and is still increasing.
Most significant is the increasing percentage of female triathletes in the younger age groups. Females comprise 43 percent of all members under 16 and 43 percent of members in the 20-29 age group.
Women also comprise 36 percent of members age 16-19 and 32 percent of members 30-39.
Four of the top 10 USA Triathlon-Sanctioned Races in 2004 (by virtue of entries) were women-only races (Danskin Wisconsin, Danskin Seattle, Danskin Austin and Danskin Denver). It is estimated that in 1997, there were fewer than five women-only triathlon camps and clinics in the United States. Today, women-only camps and clinics take place in every region and every major city in the U.S.
In 2002, the Women’s Commission began making annual grants for women-only races or clinics. In 2004, the Women’s Commission made 10 grants totaling $2500 to assist with the production of women-only races, camps and clinics.
The Women’s Commission also holds an all-women breakfast at the USA Triathlon National Age Group Championship. At the breakfast, the Judy Flannery Foundation presents the Judy Flannery Memorial Award to a woman who has personified Flannery’s spirit. Last year, the event was attended by over 70 women and former USA Triathlon Deputy Director Tim Yount became the first man to receive the Flannery Award.
The Women’s Commission has approximately 60 volunteer members working to support and promote women in multi-sport across the United States. You can find more information on the USA Triathlon web site at www.usatriathlon.org/Commissions/women_commission.htm.
USA Triathlon is the national governing body for triathlon, duathlon, aquathlon and winter triathlon in the United States. For more information on this and other stories related to USA Triathlon, please contact communications and media relations manager B.J. Evans at 719-597-9090, ext. 105 or at BJ@USATriathlon.org. USA Triathlon’s web site is www.usatriathlon.org.