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"Racing Women: Women of Color Triathletes" by Gabriela Nunez

Gabriela Nunez

Why Do You Want A Sabbatical Beauty Scholarship?

I want to receive the Sabbatical Beauty scholarship to help build the website for Racing Women. More importantly, however, Sabbatical Beauty is the perfect target audience for my proposed research project. We are a group of progressive women of color who aim to make our lives better through radical self care and contribute important knowledge to our communities.

Racing Women: Women of Color in TriathlonS

Research Statement by Gabriela Nunez

I apply for the Sabbatical Beauty Scholarship as an amateur triathlete who wants to highlight the experiences of women of color in triathlon. My aim is to create an online resource for women in the sport to share their stories and inspire other women to join the sport. Triathlon training and racing provides an active form of self- mental and physical care. The combination of swimming, cycling, and running helps me cope with anxiety, and helped me get through intense post-partum blues after I had my son. The sport makes me feel proud of myself and is an empowering way to fight any negative body image narratives in my head. Because of the joy and positivity that triathlon brings to my life, my goal is to share the sport with other women and encourage women to participate.

The lack of diversity in triathlon is staggering. The most recent demographic studies show that 35% of all amateur triathletes are female. Broken down by ethnicity including all genders, Latinas/os make up 5%, Asian Americans make up 2%, African Americans make up .9%, and American Indian or Native Alaskan make up .4%, while whites make up 84% of triathlon membership.1 Triathlon groups such as All Women’s Tri Team, the Black Triathletes Association in New York are working at the grassroots level to make the sport more diverse.2 My website will contribute to this work by documenting and gathering the current research and conversations about diversity in triathlon in an easily accessible website.

I would use the Sabbatical Beauty Scholarship to create a website called Racing Women, with three articles by August 2018. Through the content in Racing Women I want to get to the why. Why are women of color underrepresented in triathlon? Racing Women will highlight the personal stories of women of color in the sport. I also plan to interview current triathlon clubs in the U.S. that are focused on growing diversity. Their knowledge and experiences provide valuable knowledge to better understand what works and how to better build community to inspire more participation for women of color in triathlon.

The funding from the SB Scholarship will contribute to setting up the domain name registration, hosting, and website and content development for Racing Women. By August I plan to publish three articles. The first will be an article that compiles the most current research on the demographics in triathlon and current diversity efforts. The second article will be an interview with the group Hissyfit Racing, a women’s triathlon group in Pearland, Texas dedicated to diversifying triathlon by supporting women in the sport. Finally, I will include one video-log in which one woman of color triathlete discusses her experiences in triathlon. I envision Racing Women eventually expanding into discussions about of women of color in other sports.

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