With the Houston Texans Kids Triathlon presented by Texas Children's Hospital quickly coming up, kids all around the country are preparing to participate in the largest Kids Triathlon in the world on April 21 and 22.
Yet, the 7th annual race offered a new hurdle for some of our participants this year: Hurricane Harvey.
With that, the Houston Texans partnered up with Academy Sports Outdoors to offer the Buddy Program - an opportunity for kids effected by Hurricane Harvey or other difficulties to receive some extra needed help in order to participate in the Kids Triathlon.
With the Buddy Program, we were able to connect with four kids that were invited to a local Academy Sports Outdoors for a Kids Triathlon shopping spree.
"They lost their bikes. They lost their helmets. They lost their shoes," explained Andre Hal. "So, we came here to buy new helmets, new bikes and new shoes. It was great seeing those kids smile."
For brother-sister duo Jacob and Sophia, this opportunity was extra special.
Jacob, who has participated in the past 3 Kids Triathlons, and Sophia, who has participated in the past 2, lost their bikes due to a break-in after Hurricane Harvey and moved in with their aunt as their mother went through mandatory medical treatment.
"Those two kids were great," Hal said. "They were really nice. Their mom was really nice. They were just excited to get new things."
"This was truly a blessing to our family," said Jacob and Sophia's mom Claudia, shaking Hal's hand and sharing a big smile.
Along with bikes, helmets and shoes, the kids got swimsuits, goggles, a swim cap and socks – all items crucial to complete the Houston Texans Kids Triathlon.
"I told the kids I'd be there, so I'll definitely be there to watch and encourage them," said Hal.
But for Hal, helping others is just part of his life goals.
"When I made it to the NFL, I wanted to be a guy that gave back," said Hal. "It feels good to do that for these kids. They deserve it."
Interested in joining us for the Houston Texans Kids Triathlon? Click here to register!
The Houston Texans, Andre Hal and Academy Sports + Outdoors partnered up to create the Buddy Program, where kids could enlist in some help in order to participate in the Houston Texans Kids Triathlon.