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‘Women in Sport’ initiative launched to promote endurance sports in India

In an endeavour to encourage more women to take up the endurance challenge at this year’s Ironman 70.3 Goa, the race organisers have launched a ‘Women in Sport’ and also opened up free relay slots for women above 19 years to enroll and partake.

With Ironman 70.3 Goa involving an arduous race requiring the participants to complete 1.9km swim, 90 km cycling and 21.2km running, the race organisers, Yoska have launched the ‘Women in Sport’ initiative with support from Brigade Foundation.

The ‘Women in Sport’ initiative has received an overwhelming response from women from all over the country.

Yoska have meticulously scouted, assessed and grouped them into teams based on their respective proficiencies and formed 12 all-women relay teams comprising 36 women. Yoska have also championed the cause by training these women participants through their digital platform and mobile app, which provides customized training for endurance activities like triathlon, distance running, swimming, and cycling among general fitness programs.

While there are several women taking part in the individual race, opening up relay slots made way for more women to consider the challenge.

Deepak Raj, a leading Ironman triathlete from India who is also the founder of Yoska, explained, “At Yoska we are always looking to encourage female athletes and women to get into the sport. To promote inclusion, empower women and to ensure greater participation of women athletes for the second edition of the Ironman 70.3 Goa race, we decided to launch and provide free registrations.

“Our team has worked tirelessly to scan through and seek interest from swimmers, cyclists and runners from across India and then create the all-women relay teams. Each team has women from different age groups and different walks of life coming together and meeting for the first time on race week to take up the challenge. As we continue to grow this event, it is our goal to inspire and motivate female participation to a greater extent, and in time have one of the best ratios of women participation globally,” he was quoted as saying in a release.

Yoska’s ‘Women in Sport’ initiative is being spearheaded by Aarathi Swaminathan, who is one of Yoska’s Ironman-certified women coaches leading the Women in Tri initiative with mentoring, and organising webinars for the women endurance community across India. Aarathi is also one of the top Ironman triathletes in the country who also added,”The initiative is to give more women an opportunity to explore, experience and excel.”

Joining Yoska’s initiative, Brigade Foundation has helped support up to 30 women forming 10 relay teams. “Brigade has been a staunch supporter of sport through multiple avenues, but especially women in sport. By encouraging women in sport, we are also enhancing their quality of life, in terms of giving them an opportunity to pursue their dreams and achieve great heights,” said Nirupa Shankar, Trustee of the Brigade Foundation and an avid triathlete herself.

On November 13, over 1400 participants from across India and 33 countries will take to the starting line at Miramar Beach in Panaji. Among them, these 20 relay teams comprising all women will be vying to make a mark of their own.

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