RACE FOR CHANGE

Overview

The IRONMAN Group, in partnership with the IRONMAN Foundation and Rock This Town, is creating an initiative tentatively titled Race for Change. The mission of Race for Change is to support diversity and inclusiveness in our workforce, among our athletes and race community, and in our host communities.

  • Today, black athletes represent less than 1% of IRONMAN athletes in the United States and Canada. Our initial goal is to support clubs and organizations focused on welcoming black athletes to our sport and to increase participation five-fold within the next five years.
    • We will create an Advisory Committee for the Race for Change program to help guide our thinking and our actions to ensure that we put the resources to the best and highest use. We encourage anyone who wants to participate to reach out to us by completing the form HERE
    • We will make an initial pledge of $1 million to fund this initiative.
    • We are concurrently starting a Diversity and Inclusiveness Committee within our Company to provide a voice to our workforce and develop ways to become a more inclusive organization.

This is an agonizing moment for America. We are in the midst of a global pandemic. Our economy is deeply impaired. And the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, and the subsequent outrage and protests, have brought to the surface both the reality of America’s fraught racial climate and systemic racial biases that are so prevalent in today’s society.

For over 40 years, IRONMAN has been built upon the mantra that Anything is Possible. As we organize events around the world, our community has grown to include people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds, from all races, religions, nationalities, and sexual orientations. I am proud of the role that IRONMAN has played over the years in fostering inclusivity in our sport.

  • Our support of challenged athletes– The Hoyt’s, Minda Dentler, Carlos Moleda and David Bailey, Roderick Sewell -- has helped to redefine the way society views those with physical challenges
  • The establishment of Women For Tri in 2015, created by IRONMAN in partnership with several passionate triathletes, has been a positive force in bringing more women into our sport. Women For Tri has provided grant funding to triathlon clubs with a focus on removing barriers to participation and welcoming more women into our sport

I understand that none of these address the question of race in our sport here in the United States, but they provide context about IRONMAN’s DNA, and our willingness to lead on social issues.

The past few days have unfolded to the steady drumbeat of “you have to say something” coming from employees, athletes, communities, and partners. I have been open about my reluctance to join the chorus because at its most fundamental core, IRONMAN is focused on action, not words. And until we were ready to begin to discuss tangible things, talk is just talk.

So, let’s talk about action.

The IRONMAN Group, in partnership with the IRONMAN Foundation, is creating an initiative tentatively titled Race for Change. The mission of Race for Change is to support diversity and inclusiveness in our workforce, among our athletes and race community, and in our host communities.

  • Today, black athletes represent less than 1% of IRONMAN athletes in the United States and Canada. Our initial goal is to support clubs and organizations focused on welcoming black athletes to our sport and to increase participation five-fold within the next five years.
  • We will create an Advisory Committee for the Race for Change program to help guide our thinking and our actions to ensure that we put the resources to the best and highest use. We encourage anyone who wants to participate to reach out to us.
  • We will make an initial pledge of $1 million to fund this initiative.
  • We are concurrently starting a Diversity and Inclusiveness Committee within our Company to provide a voice to our workforce and develop ways to become a more inclusive organization.

We are at the very beginning. We have a lot to learn. We intend to listen carefully and ask for help to find the right path forward.

I am confident that our community will come together, rise to the challenge, combat racism and injustice and create equal footing for all people of color.

Andrew Messick

CEO & President

The IRONMAN Group

June 5, 2020

  • Complete the form HERE.

Contact Us

The IRONMAN Foundation
3407 W Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd
Suite 100
Tampa FL, 33607

813-868-5940

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