From the CEO: Adam Wicks
I am delighted to confirm that the police have ‘green lighted’ the TNSW Club Championships event, for Saturday 14th November, to be held at Forster, Main Beach.
I think I speak for all when I say this is the news we have all been waiting for.
However, with approval comes restrictions around producing mass participation events (especially in a region that has been inundated with visitors). These include less available hours of road closures and restricted gatherings of spectators at the event. As a result, difficult decisions had to be made.
Firstly, the Junior Club Championships will unfortunately, not be able to proceed. This includes the TRYkids (7 - 11 yrs) and the Junior Super Sprint (12 – 13 yrs). We’ve also made the difficult decision to cancel the Half Club Distance (500m swim, 15km bike, 4 km).
The decision to cancel the junior event was based on the fact that athletes under 16 always need to have an adult accompany them to the event site, raising issues with adhering to the NSW Health Order. The Half Club Distance is a significantly smaller event and to have additional road closures (during very busy times in the township of Forster) is not viable for both Elite Energy and disruption to the movement of visitors wanting to use Main Beach, 1 Mile Beach, Forster Bridge and many cafes and heavily visited areas. These disappointing decisions were required for the event to occur, at all.
Over the coming days, the team from Elite Energy will email all competitors with a more in-depth brief on what your options will be for events that have been cancelled, along with the possibility of reopening the main Club Championship event to a limited number, and the changes that will affect this event and many others during these crazy COVID times.
I also want to provide an update on volunteers;
In previous years, we’ve been eager to accept a lot of volunteers to fully embrace our clubs extended family. With COVID-19 and strict limits on numbers, we will revisit the minimum number of volunteers required for the event. Once this is decided, communication will be forthcoming on how people can take up those positions. Current individuals who have registered to volunteer may no longer be required, as we look to minimise the presence of people at the event.
An important message, which will be reiterated many times in the lead up to the event. Please support us, Elite Energy and the sport of triathlon by NOT bringing spectators to the event site. Spectators are counted in the NSW Public Health Order, and as such, we ask that you DON’T BRING ANY SPECTATORS TO THE EVENT. COVID Marshalls will be on site to enforce social distancing and minimise crowding and discourage spectators. If a COVID Marshall asks your spectators to please move on, please deal with this situation with understanding and support. They are volunteers trying to help the event remain safe.
It’s vital that we work alongside the local police and local community in our shared goal of minimising the risk of COVID-19 spread. It’s vital if the triathlon community wish return to the region for future events.
The event will look and feel very different to a traditional pre COVID Club Championships. Tent Alley will not longer be allowed, and athletes are asked to strictly adhere to the ‘arrive, race and leave’ philosophy. No after party will occur, and we ask that clubs adhere to the NSW Public Health order at all times during their visit to Forster, including on the drive up, before and after the race.
Lastly, this decision, combined with recent announcements about Elite Energy’s Little Husky Festival, H-Events Maitland, NX Sports Kingscliff and Yamba are signs that the sport is moving in the right direction.
The onus is now on us, the athletes and custodians of the sport, to ensure we allow races to operate, by abiding by the rules.