The Steve Tarpinian Memorial Fund awarded two students with a $1000 Scholarship on August 10, 2017. Each student completed a triathlon grant through the Steve Tarpinian Memorial Fund and then submitted a compelling application for a $1000 Scholarship. Thank you to all of the students who applied for the Scholarship. Each student inspired us in different ways which made the final decision very difficult. We are hopeful that some of the Scholarship funds will be utilized in a way that inspires other youth to ‘try’ triathlon!
Congratulations goes out to Zachary Lam and Todd Warshawsky – the 2017 Recipients of the Steve Tarpinian Scholarship!!!
Zachary Lam (pictured on the left side of the image) attends Ward Melville High School in Three Village School District and started his athletic journey around nine years old. His dad signed him up for a track team. He started as a runner with little knowledge of swimming. He was introduced to the sport of triathlon when his dad signed him up for his first triathlon a couple of years later. He began taking it more seriously in the 9th grade. When Zachary wakes up in the morning and thinks about what he is going to do for the day, he gets to choose from swim, bike, and/or run. And that is the one thing that he loves about the sport of triathlon. He gets a variety of choices to be active and busy.
Zachary loves the training that leads up to a race and loves racing to see how he has improved from the last race. Triathlon has impacted his life in a major way. It has helped him get into shape and make healthier decisions for his life. The sport has given him so much confidence to do and try anything such as being able to handle his fear of heights by doing a tree climbing obstacle course. Triathlon has helped him travel to new places like Maine and to see new things and help meet new friends along the way. Triathlon has helped to open up so many opportunities in Zachary’s life including the chance to help out people through volunteering at races and watching them cross the finish line feeling accomplished. In addition, it has given him the chance of becoming a professional triathlete as he gets older and better in the sport. He is hoping to earn a spot to Ironman World Championship in Kona one day!
Zachary hopes to expose triathlon to more High School students by inviting friends to help with his training and do some races with him. He also plans on creating a triathlon team at Ward Melville High School to help others at the school learn more about the fun of the sport triathlon.
Todd Warshawsky, recent graduate of Roslyn High School, (pictured on the left side of the image) stated that, “training for and competing in a triathlon was undoubtedly one of the toughest challenges I’ve accepted. Concurrently, it was also one of the most reward.” Before Todd’s first triathlon, he had never swam or biked competitively in his life. He frankly had no idea what to expect. When he stepped into the water, the instant the race started, all apprehension vanished from his mind. Each time he had woken up at six in the morning to go swimming became relevant, while his lack of experience suddenly became meaningless. Observing just how powerful a race can be in stripping away what differentiates the circumstances of our lives and exposing one’s inner strength, Todd felt simultaneously proud of what he was doing and humbled with nothing to hide behind. “That sensation, perfectly embodies why we race.” Going forward, Todd hopes to continue to not only race, but, in doing so, to expose himself to new challenges that will further allow him to reveal and understand his character.
Todd has already begun to look into triathlon racing in college, and he does so with the mentality that difficulty and unfamiliarity should not be seen as excuses to not try. Rather, they should be taken as reasons to try harder.
For some time, Todd had been curious about the sport of triathlon racing, but it was not until he heard about the Steve Tarpinian Memorial Fund that he saw competing in a triathlon as realistic. He believes that many High School students would love to participate in a triathlon, but many do not realize that the opportunity to do so is closer than they imagine. His triathlon experience has inspired several student athletes to look into the Steve Tarpinian Memorial Fund. While his track coach has already decided to share information about the program with all of the seniors on the track and field team, Todd hopes to show everyone in his community how rewarding and accessible the Steve Tarpinian Memorial Fund makes the sport of triathlon.
Both Zachary and Todd, as well as all of students who received triathlon grants in 2017, have re-inspired our mission to influence more youth through the sport of triathlon.