Since its inception in 1991, over 60,000 participants have enjoyed the Kurnell experience - changing their lifestyle for the better, competing in their first triathlon challenge, and meeting new friends forging lasting connections. The Kurnell triathlon series has been transformative for many people.
The event is hailed as being integral to the development of legends of the sport including Craig Alexander, Chris McCormack, Michellie Jones and Greg Welch, among other local triathletes who have gone on to excel on the world stage. Affectionately known by local triathletes as ‘Kurnell Worlds’, this summarises how important the event is for the sport.
It’s also a critical part of the triathlon landscape in the Sutherland Shire and Sydney, having supported local triathlon clubs and their members of many years.
Unfortunately Sutherland Shire Council and the local police have decided to reject this year's application. We respectfully disagree and believe that the event can be delivered with a course that minimises impact on the local environment and residents but allows the local and wider community to benefit from having Sydney based events.
Sadly, the iconic Kurnell Triathlon Series would have enjoyed its 30th anniversary this year. This decision is even more painful given that Triathlon NSW made John Holt, the ‘father’ and ‘creator’ of the event a Life Membership at last year's AGM.
Without a doubt, the Kurnell region has changed since 1991 - an argument set forth by council and police as one of the main reasons for their decision to reject our application.
But what has not changed since 1991 is that people of Sydney crave local sporting events to occur, to allow the mental and physical benefits of exercise to occur. Now more then ever, people are seeking human connectivity and a sense of community. With so few opportunities for our community to take part in commercial triathlons in Sydney, and the demand after a COVID-19 imposed lock down greater then ever, the importance of having events for the community to remain healthy and active, now more than ever, makes the decision by the Council and police deeply impactful and disappointing.
Realistically, to host a Kurnell event, Elite Energy and Triathlon NSW require road closures from 6 am to 9 am, on one Saturday per year. We believe that this is a small request from council and police, and with a collaborative and effective Traffic Management Plan and Traffic Control Plan, this can and should occur.
We want people in Sydney and across the state to send a clear message to police and local Councillors that we want the series back on and thriving again.
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