The Challenged Athletes Foundation and USA Triathlon partnered this year to combine forces to provide a one of a kind opportunity to aspiring youth and junior paratriathletes to further grow in their sport development.
The 6th Annual CAF Youth Paratriathlon Camp – in partnership with USA Triathlon this year – is a one week camp designed to help young challenged athletes learn the various skills needed to participate in a triathlon.
This week long event culminated in a mini triathlon that all 12 youth paratri campers participated in San Diego at Fiesta Island, the birth place of triathlon. CAF athlete and paratri camper, Sammy Rhodes shares her experience in this year’s camp below.

Kids in olympic swimming pool learning how to swim from instructor

The Athlete Experience | CAF & USAT Youth Paratriathlon Camp

Article by Sammy Rhodes

A few weeks ago I had the incredible opportunity to attend the CAF/USA Triathlon camp for Paratriathlon in Southern California at the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center which is an Olympic and Paralympic training site.

I went into the camp with some experience in each of the three individual sports, but had not combined them all together in a competitive aspect. I honestly had no idea what all I was going to learn, but I’m incredibly thankful for the coaches support and guidance which led to a camp with an incredible atmosphere.

The week-long camp was all about learning the sport of triathlon, but also to have fun in the process and that is exactly what we did.

Kids in wheelchair racing chairs on track next to Mary Kate Callahan and coaches

The week was filled with intense swimming, cycling, and running/racing training and ended with a mini triathlon which all the athletes were able to be apart of. In between each of the training sessions there was plenty of time for all the friendships to form with so much laughter and smiles!

My absolute favorite part of the camp was being able to see everyone show their talent and grow not only as athletes, but as individuals as well!

Sammy Rhodes in racing wheelchair on road next to San Diego Bay

I left the camp feeling so grateful for being given the chance to attend such an incredible camp. Its was truly incredible to receive all of the guidance and the ability to create friendships throughout the week!

I look forward to seeing everyone from the camp in the future! Without a doubt, I am a better person and athlete because of this opportunity!

Thank you Travis, Bob Babbitt, Coach Chris and Coach Deb, and everyone at CAF and USA Triathlon for this opportunity!

Sammy Rhodes standing next to Para Tri Camp friends at Fiesta Island