Sunday Nov. 7th, 12:00 PM
Presented by Edward Chang, Marcus Fitts, Reggie Waller, Lee Caparas and María Paredes-Fernández.
Recent figures from the Triathlon Industry Association indicate that only approximately 2% of triathletes are Black, Asian and Minority
Ethnic, and the male-female ratio remains at a 70-30 split. Please join us for a lively panel discussion to explore what can be done to lower the barriers to the sport to increase participation and inclusivity of all athletes.
Ed Chang, Moderator
Ed is the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, Board Member of the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, and member of the Leadership Board of Varlo Sports, a local minority-owned performance triathlon and multi-sport apparel company. In his day job, he is a litigation partner at Blank Rome, LLP. Ed is an age-group triathlete, having completed two Ironman races, and multiple short-course races. He loves the multi-sport endurance community for its shared experiences of dedication and the willingness to push beyond one’s limits. This has inspired him to promote inclusivity in sport to encourage ALL athletes to pursue and shatter their goals of tomorrow.
Lee Caparas, Panelist
Lee has participated in triathlons since 2012, having completed 5 Ironman-distance races and 12 half-ironman distance races along with over 100 races from every triathlon distance, running races of every distance, MTB & cyclocross. He enjoys the endurance sports community because of how supportive it is and he is passionate about making it as all inclusive as possible. Lee is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, a Varlo Apparel Ambassador, and a teammate with T3 Philly triathlon team in Philadelphia.
Reggie Waller, Panelist
Reggie is a USA Triathlon Level 1 Certified Coach and RRCA Endurance Running Coach who coaches triathletes and runners. He is an Ironman triathlete and endurance runner, Director of Team Varlo (@varlo_apparel) and Coach at Wolfpack Multisport (@wolfpackmultisportny). Additionally, he is a member of the Board of Directors of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, and coaches its youth triathlon team. Reggie is passionate about introducing others into the sport and helping athletes reach their full potential.
Marcus Fitts, Panelist
Marcus Fitts was the recipient of the 2020 USA Triathlon’s Community Impact Coach of the Year and has founded two triathlon-endurance clubs in the DC-metro area, GRIT USA and District Triathlon Club. Mr. Fitts’ current endeavor focuses on developing adult and high school athletes and enacting socio-cultural and economic change.
As a kid when Marcus wanted to play football and baseball, his mom would only allow it after he fulfilled one condition, learn to swim. Even after excelling at track and football, the foundation of swimming was what Marcus always came back to and also excelled in. He eventually went to college on a track and swimming scholarship, giving him a leg up in the sport of triathlons, which he would soon discover.
Seeing a lack of diversity in the sport for a multitude of reasons, Marcus began to strategically find ways to break down the barriers in his community to create avenues for new folks, especially those of color and minorities, to try and excel in triathlons. Marcus recently finished Ironman Maryland 2021 in an impressive 10:41:07.
María Paredes Fernández, Panelist
María Paredes Fernández is a board member of T3 Philly, a local triathlon team, and also served on the community advisory board for the inaugural 2021 Philadelphia Distance Run. Since 2018, María has been an age-group athlete who has participated in various triathlon distances ranging from super sprints to just recently her first Ironman. In addition to the physical challenge and the mental stimulation, María enjoys triathlon because of the sense of community and support this sport offers. She wants as many people, but particularly historically-marginalized groups, to be part of this community so they can not only enjoy these benefits, but also enrich it by offering their own perspectives.