TAKING FULL ADVANTAGE OF NORTH QUEENSLAND’S PERFECT WINTER CONDITIONS, THE 16TH ANNUAL TOWNSVILLE TRIATHLON FESTIVAL WILL COME TO LIFE ALONG THE PICTURESQUE SETTING OF THE STRAND NEXT MONTH. INVITING NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL COMPETITORS TO ENJOY THE VERY BEST OF OUR EVENTS SEASON IN OUR ENVIABLE WINTER CONDITIONS, WHICH PROVE TO PERK ON OUR LOCAL ECONOMY EACH YEAR.
TP Human Capital Director Clayton Cook originally founded the Tri Festival in 2002, when he sponsored two corporate triathlons. With limited resources for marketing and promotions, the event drew around 60 competitors, with 20 corporate teams taking part in the inaugural event. It was then designed simply as an opportunity for colleagues to socialise outside the workplace in a healthy, active and mildly competitive environment.
As the event grew, and the location moved from Riverside to it’s current location at the iconic Strand Park, more events were added, creating the now weekend-long festival with 11 events and almost 3,000 participants last year, injecting a whopping $1.25 million into our local economy.
Half of the 2,800 participants in 2017 were local, with 30 per cent traveling from interstate for the event, 18 per cent from within Queensland, and 2 per cent from overseas. These figures don’t, of course, include the family and friends traveling with participants as spectators, coming simply to enjoy a long weekend of balmy winter sun and the abundance of tourist attractions Townsville has to offer.
The Townsville Triathlon Festival is run by a volunteer committee consisting of six local business men and women and one event manager, who coordinates a team of 200 volunteers across the festival weekend to ensure the event runs smoothly.
The event is sponsored by local and national businesses, including Intersport, who have been the festival’s naming rights sponsor for 11 years this year.
Race Director and Committee Member Wayde Chiesa said the festival made a conscious effort to direct as much business into the local economy as possible, as it is truly a community event.
“We are extremely proud of not only the substantial economic impact of the festival but the fact that only four per cent of our expenditure was outside of Townsville. We believe our local suppliers are up there with the best in the country and are proud to work with them,” he said.
“With 11 events, there really is something for everyone, from the best triathletes in the country, to weekend warriors, the teams, those who have never done an event like this to the smiling faces of the kids getting ready to race on the big stage.”
Some of the events are aimed towards those more serious competitors. Having gained national recognition as a world age group qualifier for four years, this year the festival will host the Triathlon Queensland Club Championships – North Queensland, and Race ONE World Age Group Qualifier – Olympic Distance. However, the festival promises something for everyone – The Corporate Teams event is still all about fun and having a go, with prizes for Best Dressed, Best Swim Ensemble and Best Bike to name just a few.