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Letter From the CEO: 2020 Club Champs Update

From the CEO

In my last update, on the 9th July, I advised that we would provide more information before the end of the July regarding the TNSW Club Championships, scheduled for Forster in September 19th.

Since then, regretfully, IRONMAN have made the deeply disappointing, but fully justified, decision that several events held in our great state will have to be postponed or cancelled.

Regarding Club Champs, we recently met with the Mid Coast Council who remain supportive of the event, should it be possible. We subsequently submitted a detailed document to NSW Health, created by our Race Director partner and supported by us, on how we plan to deliver the event in a COVID-safe manner. It goes without saying that the event will only occur if it’s been approved by NSW Health, and we currently await their feedback and answers.

I spoke with Elite Energy CEO, Mark ‘Emo’ Emerton this morning, and we both flagged that there are additional complications when events are cancelled too close to the delivery date. Our goal is to make a decision within the next 2 weeks, or sooner, as soon as we receive a reply from NSW Health. This will ensure our clubs and members are able to avoid unnecessary and additional expenses being incurred.

Naturally the safety of our members will always come first. I note that NSW Health can make decisions, and change their position shortly after, reacting to rapid increases in community transmission, as they deem appropriate. We must all remain positive, hopeful, understanding and patient with Elite Energy and all commercial entities who deliver events in NSW during this uncertain time.

If the event is approved to proceed, it will be a different experience to what has occurred previously. Athletes will be staggered, spectators will be discouraged, and athletes will be expected to ‘show up, race and leave’, in line with the NSW Office of Sports guidelines. The after party will no longer happen, and the presentation will be live streamed via social media. This is the reality of the world in which we exist at the moment.

What will not change is the overarching concept - representing your club and having a fun race weekend away with your friends and family (all the while maintaining social distance, adhering to all NSW Health rules and regulations and maintaining good hygiene practices).

Should we not receive positive news from NSW Health, and with over 800 people already entered, we will be working closely with Elite Energy to find a suitable date and reschedule.  

Please understand that Elite Energy’s future viability relies on the community supporting them. After a lean 6 months, minimising refunds and maximising participation is vital to ensure their further existence. For those who are available on the revised date, we hope you deal with this situation with patience, understanding and compassion. We encourage you to support the event and race, if at all possible, in order to support the future of our great sport. 

Lastly, I wanted finish this communication with something positive and to share a little-known fact.

Triathlon NSW has the strongest club event culture out of all the other states and territories. In 2018/19 there were 15,500 start lines at club events in NSW. Across the rest of Australia there were only 8,500 start lines!

Whilst we wait for large commercial events to resume, I strongly encourage you to focus on this positive. For those who race their club events, please continue to do so. For those who thrive on larger commercial events, there has never been a better time to reconnect with your club, support their events and re-find your local community.

Adam Wicks

Triathlon NSW CEO

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