Eight-year old Aidan Bagas (right) and four-year old sister Athena are regular participants of the Alaska Ironkids (Photo by Jamil Buergo)
MACTAN, Cebu – Weekends are usually a time for kids for recreation as they detach themselves from school activities and have a bonding time with their families. In the case of the Aidan and Athena Bagas, recreation means going outdoors to train mom Dianne as they prepare themselves for races they have signed up to participate like the Alaska Ironkids.
The Bagas siblings simply enjoy their active and healthy lifestyle, which is what Alaska Milk has been preaching to the young generation who love to sit in the couch while being busy with their gadgets and social media life.
Eight-year old Aidan and four-year old Athena have been joining Alaska Ironkids since 2015. “They joined Alaska Ironkids because they have learned to love the sport as a form of recreation rather than competition. Seeing other kids join Alaska Ironkids made them inspired to participate just for fun” mommy Dianne proudly shares.
A Grade 3 student from Malate Cathloic School, Aidan first joined swim races before adding biking and running into his arsenal. “I first noticed they liked to join Alaska Ironkids when my son Aidan started joining swim races and he told me he wanted to be like his coach in swimming who’s into triathlon” said Dianne. Having heard his son, she wasted no time obliging. After all, it’s rare nowadays kids ask their parents to put them into sports.
Athena on the other hand is a kinder student also from Malate Catholic School. Previously, she joined Kuya Aidan as they participated in the Play Category of the Alaska Ironkids. Apart from racing with his brother, Athena had previously raced with her idol Tara Borlain also in the Play Category. This time, Athena swam, biked, and ran all by her lonesome. Finishing the race gave mommy Dianne an achievement similar to what other Ironman finishers feel. “Definitely I am at my proudest moment seeing them cross the finish line and telling me we had a great time and we made it!” proudly shares Dianne as she tries to hold back tears.
A day in the life of the Bagas kids is what other parents would probably dream of. Dividing time in school and training maybe hard but not for a family who has already embraced a healthy lifestyle. “A day with my kids is pure joy and contentment. After school and kumon we train either swim, bike or run. Training is more like their idea of playing. Swimming is what we do most often because it’s their passìon.” explains Dianne.
An ultramarathoner herself, Dianne knew the importance of having an active and healthy lifestyle for her kids and it didn’t surprise her that her kids are loving the outdoors. Suprisingly, the Bagas siblings aren’t just into triathlon. “Aside from swim, bike, and run, they are also into mountain climbing and hiking. It’s a family recreational activity as our house in Batangas is situated at the foot of Mt Maculot.” shares Dianne.
Proud Mommy Dianne may have not seen her kids reach the podium yet but she doesn’t mind. What’s important to her is her kids embrace the idea of recreation while in competition. She proudly sends this message to her babies: “My Aidan and Athena keep on chasing your dreams as I will always be here to give my full support. Don’t be afraid to push your limit as you will only know how far you can go if you out of your comfort zone.”
Indeed, Alaska has built champions not only seen receiving trophies at the podium. Alaska helped instill the important values and habits such as determination, discipline, hard work and teamwork among the children, as they aspire to realize dreams to become athletes.
Alaska Ironkids Philippines is an annual sporting event that aims to promote a healthy and active lifestyle among children through the winning combination of proper nutrition and physical activity. More than a race, the Alaska Ironkids is a great venue for families to bond in a shared activity and gives parents the chance to show their children that being physically fit and healthy is more fun.