MMTT-Mach II athletes learn that there is “fun and honor and beauty in developing into elite athletes.”
– Keith Dickson
In 2001, Keith Dickson was father to five kids and was looking to get them involved in sports. Keith had been a competitive swimmer – swimming on the US National Team and swimming for two Hall of Fame Coaches. But in 2001, Keith had just been bitten by the triathlon “bug” and was enjoying the training and racing with this new sport. Instead of guiding his kids toward swim teams, he and some other parents formed a small kids’ triathlon team in 2002.
Starting with seventeen kids, (four of them were Dickson children), he and the other parents led what was truly a “family activity disguised as a team.” Keith applied what he knew to the training of these kids – he trained them year-round as competitive swimmers would train.
He found that they absolutely thrived. “I looked at their faces, and I could see how much they loved it,” says Keith. “They had glowing faces.” The kids loved getting outside. They loved training hard. They loved the social aspect of training as a team. Those initial 2002 kids are now the Junior Elites today who are performing at the national and world class level.
Now, in 2012, MMTT-Mach II is a not-for-profit USAT High Performance Team with professional coaches and support staff and is expanding to provide two paths for youth triathletes. The first is the Elite Team for athletes (13 and older) who wish to dedicate themselves fully to pursuing elite triathlon and competing at the national and international level. The second path is the Youth Development Team for young athletes who wish to participate in triathlon along with other sports like soccer, basketball or track.
No matter what level of ability or commitment, MMTT-Mach II exists to foster a love for the sport of triathlon along with all the health benefits, social fun, traveling experiences and discipline learned along the way. These are amazing kids.