When Dare2tri CoFounder and Executive Director, Keri Serota, was 12 years old she told her father that when she grew up she wanted to teach people without legs how to water ski. That led her to working summer jobs at camps for kids with disabilities and pursuing a degree in Adapted Physical Education. After working for several years in the field of adaptive sports for various non-profits, Keri teamed up with two friends to start Dare2tri. The idea was to get more people with disabilities involved in a sport that Keri and her partners loved and enjoyed and that would provide the opportunity to be involved and engaged with the community. Keri, along with the other two CoFounders, Melissa Stockwell (Purple Heart Recipient and Paralympic Bronze Medalist in Paratriathlon) and Dan Tun (Adaptive Sports Specialist and triathlete) got their coaching certification, a seed grant from the United States Olympic Committee and set off on their goal to Dare people 2 Tri and to Inspire Many! It is the belief of the organization that triathlons and racing teach many of the same skills that apply to various aspects of one’s life. They learn how to set a goal, make a plan for reaching that goal, ask for help when they need it, seek out resources to support them and their goals and the empowerment of reaching that goal (i.e. crossing the finish line). P.S. Keri did teach injured veterans without legs how to water ski, and her parents got to witness it back in 2006.
Event Date & Time: Saturday, May 13th from 2:15pm to 3:15pm
Details: Break a sweat for a good cause with Dare2tri at Barry’s Bootcamp (11 E Erie Street) during a traditional full body Barry’s class taught by Kate Lemere from 2:15pm to 3:15pm. Stick around after class for beer, wine and smoothies samples, a swag bag, and speeches from Dare2tri’s inspiring athletes.
Ticket Info: Cost $50, and every dollar raised goes to Dare2tri. Tickets can be purchased here!
Info on Dare2tri: Dare2tri is a local non-profit that gives individuals with physical disabilities and visual impairments the opportunity to be physically active and competitive. Athletes of all abilities can compete in all areas of triathlon with Dare2tri and gain access to adaptive equipment, coaches and guides.
We got to catch up with Keri to learn more about Dare2tri & hear some awesome success stories. Please take some time to read on, join the event, and consider volunteering with Dare2tri!
Dare2tri has lots of volunteer opportunities for those wanting to get involved and give back. They can be found here: http://www.dare2tri.org/volunteers/. We also have a great opportunity to get involved and reach your own goals through our Race2Raise Relay team. This gives folks the opportunity to form a 3 person relay (2 able-bodied individuals who get paired with a Dare2tri athlete) to complete the Chicago Triathlon as a relay team. This is a great way to raise awareness and funds for the organization all while working towards a common goal and the finish line. More info can be found here: http://www.dare2tri.org/race2raise/.
What can people expect from this event?
A great workout + refreshments, a sweet swag bag, and most importantly, major inspiration from athletes that overcome all odds to compete. In honor of Mother’s Day, we will host a panel discussion where attendees will get to hear from mothers and daughters about their experiences with Dare2tri and the impact it has had on their lives.
Why was Barry’s Bootcamp the best place to host this event?
Barry’s is relatively new to Chicago, is extremely philanthropic and was gracious enough to welcome us with open arms. They generously donated the space, class, instructor, post-class smoothies and went above and beyond to ensure the event would be fun and valuable for both the attendees and Dare2tri. Dare2tri thought partnering with Barry’s was a perfect fit since it is the best sweat in the city and our supporters, athletes, and volunteers are super interested in being healthy and active. What better way to bring the community together in support of a great organization than to boot camp it!
Are there any success stories from Dare2tri that you could share with our readers?
Here is a great success story about Hailey Danz. Hailey, an above the knee amputee, applied for an internship with Dare2tri Executive Director Keri Serota, back in 2011 while she was an undergrad at Northwestern University, just as the organization was getting started. Keri accepted Hailey under the agreement that she would do a triathlon. Hailey, who had not been physically active since her amputation at age 14 following Osteosarcoma, thought this was a great challenge. Dare2tri assisted and supported Hailey with getting a running leg and then doing her first 5K race. They helped her get fitted for a bike leg, lent her a bike, taught her to ride, provided her with a mentor and supported her all the way across the finish line of her first triathlon in July 2011. Hailey fell in love with the sport and continued to improve and find success. This past September, Hailey brought home the Silver Medal from the Rio Paralympics where Team USA swept the podium on September 11. Hailey is still a member of Dare2tri and represents Team USA around the country and the world. She just also got certified as a triathlon coach so she can continue giving back to the community.
(She will not be at the Barry’s event as she will be racing in Yokahama, Japan.)
What’s the most rewarding part of Dare2tri for you?
For me, seeing people who previously thought they could not do something accomplish that goal is amazing. The empowerment that comes from setting a goal, working towards it and reaping the benefits is life changing. I believe that when you cross that finish line you are forever changed. You become an athlete, a triathlete and that is a label you earned. I think the finish line is just the beginning.