Teresa Roden was presented with the ITU Women''s Committee Award for her efforts through the i-tri programme ©ITU

The International Triathlon Union (ITU) Women's Committee have announced that Teresa Roden has won the 2018 Award of Excellence.

American Roden received the award at the 2018 ITU Congress in Gold Coast for her grassroots project.

Roden established "i-tri: Transformation through Triathlon" in 2010, which helps young girls gain confidence by undertaking a triathlon.

Roden's programme is particularly aimed at young girls with challenging social or emotional situations.

Chair of the ITU Women's Committee Tomoko Wada praised Roden's work.

"We are delighted with this award to Theresa, who has been a role model and an inspiration to numerous women to not only engage with newcomers to our sport, but also to be able to ensure that our reach goes to young women to all socioeconomic, racial and ethnic backgrounds," Wada said.

The i-tri programme is now established in six schools in Long Island, New York, and the programme has had 130 participants in 2018.

The i-tri programme inspires young girls to take up triathlon ©i-tri/Twitter
The i-tri programme inspires young girls to take up triathlon ©i-tri/Twitter

"Receiving the ITU Women's Committee Award of Excellence means the world to us, not just for me, but for all our staff, volunteers, board members, and of course our girls," said Roden.

"As we embark on a plan to bring i-tri National throughout the US and eventually internationally, you remind all of us that the next step on this journey is not always the easy step, but it is one that is worth while.

"Because I have always said, i-tri must be available to every girl who can benefit from it.

"That is why we charge nothing and give every girl all their equipment and training for free.

"It is why we continue to expand and grow and it is why we never turn away a single girl."

Roden was nominated alongside six other candidates for the award.

Nominees are recognised for their contribution towards the advancement of women in sport through triathlon or Paratriathlon.