Media Print

The Tri-Masters Sports Initiative Program has the longest history of any youth triathlon program in the Chicago area. Program youth have been featured in international, national and local publications, as well as all major Chicago broadcast outlets. In addition to the media coverage, the program has provided an opportunity for community residents of all ages to learn practical approaches to health improvement through structured training for the entire family.

Chicago Tribune – Front Page
September 9, 2008
A test of strength, spirit -Training for a triathlon gives kids lessons that will last long after the race is over

“The swimming pool was 3 feet deep, its surface lacquer smooth. But Taylor Bell, her eyes frozen behind her goggles, clung to the edge like a terrified starfish.

“If I let go,” she thought, “I will drown.”

Taylor had made it to the age of 10 on the South Side without knowing how to swim. Water was hostile territory. She grew nervous at the beach if waves so much as lapped at her ankles.

That’s how it was with her mother, too, and that’s how Taylor figured she would go through life. But then her family signed her up for Tri-Masters, a summer day camp that promised to whip any kid into good enough shape to tackle what some call the ultimate test of physical fitness: a triathlon.

July-August 2002
Building a TRI Community

“Good training and resources are important but what really separates the true triathlon communities is a vibrant race scene and active clubs. Bernard Lyles has built an amazing triathlon community among the African-American and Hispanic communities of Chicago.” To read more on Building a TRI Community and a special feature on Tri-Masters: The Definition of Community,

Celebrate Jamaica’s 40th Year of Independence
August 2002
Building Bridges for Our Youth and Strength for the Nation

Bernard Lyles, Director of the Tri-Masters Sports Initiative Programs, was honored by the Consulate of Jamaica in Chicago for his sterling contribution to the field of sports in Jamaica. As stated in a letter from the Honorary Consul of Jamaica, Lloyd L. Hyde, “Cognizant of our nation’s history in sports, and the unifying force it has been for our people, we believe our 40th Independence Anniversary is a fitting milestone to express our pride in, and appreciation to, those who have distinguished themselves in this field.” To read more on this befitting honor to Bernard Lyles and the Tri-Masters Sports Initiative Programs,

Chicago Defender
Saturday, August 10, 2002
Lifting a legend on high

The Lifting Up The World with Oneness Heart award celebrates the achievements of men and women of inspiration and dedication, and has been presented to President Nelson Mandela of South Africa, the late Mother Teresa and Olympic hero Carl Lewis, among others. Since 1988, Sri Chinmoy has honored over 4,000 individuals world wide to inspire others to lead a better or higher life. Sri Chinmoy has been called a “renaissance man” for his contributions in the field of art, music, literature and athletics. Bernard Lyles, Director of the Tri-Masters Sports Initiative Programs was presented with this prestigious award for his “infinitely beautiful, loving and transformational contributions to the children of Chicago and to humanity as a whole.” To read more,

Windy City Sports
April 2002
15 Years of Windy City Sports

“Meet some of the people who have helped shape and mold and morph the magazine over the years. Bernard Lyles started running for himself after envying joggers along the Lakefront. However, many amateur athletes in Chicago have benefited from Lyles’ energy, competitiveness and dedication to sports training.” To read more, .

Diving into the swimming Craze

“More African Americans are learning the benefits of swimming, whether it’s for overall fitness, weight loss and toning or for rehabilitation after surgery. Enthusiasts like Bernard Lyles, sports coordinator for special events at Chicago State University, are increasing exposure in a number of ways.” To read more, .

Windy City Sports
May 2001
In the Zone. Finding your rhythm is a beautiful thing.

“But mostly, I love the running. I get a chance to go inside myself, like meditation, channeling that breath, the energy of life. With enough focus, everything is overcome, the weather, how your day went, gravity, everything. There are other challenges ahead . . . but for now I’m just finding my rhythm and focusing on my breathing.” To read more on this article written by Tri-Master Ayinde Jean-Baptiste, To read more, .

Sports Illustrated For Women
July/August 2000
Three’s Company
City teenagers find the inspiration to get in the water, on bicycles and on the road to become triathletes at a special summer sports camp in Chicago.

“It’s a long way from Chicago’s South Side to Oceanside, Calif., but that’s the trip Ryan Hickman, 16, made last October so she could tackle her first Olympic-distance triathlon — a 1.5K swim, followed by a 40K bike ride and a 10K run . . . It was the highlight of an athletic career Ryan had never envisioned until six years ago, when she signed up for a triathlete camp called the Tri-Masters Sports Initiative Programs.” To read more, .

August 1997
A new Tiger Woods in Tri?
Triathlon gets multicultural thanks to Chicago’s Tri-Masters: The Rainbow Coalition.

“Bernard Lyles finished a credible two hours, 32 minutes in his first race, the 1983 Leon’s Triathlon in Hammond, Indiana, but you might have thought he’d set a record . . . It seemed like nobody could forget Lyles — as if he was a celebrity. And, he was, in a sense. ‘I was the only black triathlete,’ says Lyles, then 31. ‘You might say I really stood out . . . Virtually everyone I met that day — with the exception of the one guy who looked at my skin and immediately made some crack about me ‘obviously not being a competitive swimmer’ — was totally positive,’ says Lyles.” To read more, .

Inside Triathlon
April 1997
Big brother Bernard

“. . . Tri-Masters gives 120 inner-city Chicago kids a taste of triathlon, along with a dedicated and enthusiastic coach, Bernard Lyles — whose tireless fundraising keeps the program going.” To read more, .

Windy City Sports
August 1995
Training with the Man: Bernard Lyles learns from the expert so he can teach kids in Chicago

“Regardless of our sport, rarely do we get to train with the champions in our field of expertise. Triathlete Bernard Lyles got that chance when he attended a training camp led by seven-time Hawaii Ironman champion Dave Scott. More than simply a junket for self-enhancement, Lyles . . . now has plenty of homework to give the athletes he trains.” To read more, .

Chicago State University Excellence
Spring/Summer 1995
Pre-College Triathlon Program: Shatters Stereotypes and Sets New Standard

“In line with CSU’s mission and model for student success, the triathlon program offers pre-college neighborhood youngsters advantages that equip them with the life skills needed for success in college and today’s job market . . . Parents report that the CSU Tri-Masters triathlon program produces exciting results that carry over into schoolwork and a positive outlook.” To read more, .

Chicago Defender
Saturday, August 28, 1993
Triathlon a new course for city kids

“Bernard Lyles isn’t out to set the world on fire, just to put a little light into a few folks minds . . . The idea itself is enough to shake up the concept of Blacks in sports even among the community itself. In weaning the group of 7-14 year olds off the idea of basketball as the primary Black sport, Lyles has turned them on to swimming, cycling and running.” To read more, .