USA Triathlon have been honoured by USOPC ©Hampton University

The United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) has announced USA Triathlon’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) engagement programme as the winner of their annual Diversity and Inclusion Choice Award.

USA Triathlon received the highest number of votes for the second consecutive year.

The HBCU engagement programme is aimed at providing a pathway to triathlon in an underrepresented population.

It seeks to lower the barriers to entry for people of colour to participate in the sport by providing access, education, resources and opportunities through partnerships with these institutions.

The programme ensures the HBCUs have funding and other resources needed to start and sustain National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Emerging Sport for Women varsity triathlon programmes and other collegiate club initiatives.

It includes a dedicated internship network to connect HBCU students to career opportunities within the sport and the Olympic and Paralympic industry.

"Growth of our sport is achievable through our vision of providing resources to empower members of the triathlon community to reach their full potential, including individuals who have not yet been introduced to the sport,” said Rocky Harris, USA Triathlon chief executive.

“USA Triathlon’s HBCU engagement programme reflects our commitment to developing programming that introduces the sport to all Americans and allows us to develop new relationships and partnerships with some of our nation’s most prestigious institutions who will welcome us to their campuses in the years to come.”

USA Triathlon have been honoured for the third successive year ©Getty Images
USA Triathlon have been honoured for the third successive year ©Getty Images

USA Triathlon will be honoured at a dinner on September 13 as part of the USOPC Assembly in Colorado Springs.

The award aims to recognise a national governing body or high performance management organisation for the creation of a single diversity and inclusion best practice or a series of diversity and inclusion best practices.

After an internal USOPC selection committee narrows down the submissions, finalists are put to a vote.

USA Triathlon has been honoured by the USOPC for its diversity and inclusion efforts annually since 2017.

The organisation was recognised in 2017 for having the highest annual growth percentage of underrepresented individuals based on diversity data for women and ethnic and racial minorities.

Their Paratriathlon military engagement programme earned last year’s award for its efforts to introduce injured veterans to the sport.