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New Plymouth triathlon boosted by support from home and afar

The 2018 Quality Hotel Plymouth International ITU World Cup has received a boost on three fronts, with renewed support from naming rights partner Quality Hotel Plymouth International, a new partnership with the American based Global Sports Mentoring Programme and a naming rights partner for the WIL Sport OTU Oceania Junior Triathlon Championships.

Quality Hotel Plymouth International has committed to the event for another year as naming rights partner, doing so on the back of the coverage the event generates for the region, not to mention the influx of visitors to New Plymouth for the event.

Event Director Shanelle Barrett is delighted with the ongoing support from Quality Hotel and says the March 25th event is also well supported by Venture Taranaki and TSB Community Trust.

“The Quality Hotel Plymouth International World Cup has always been well supported throughout the New Plymouth Community, as much for the showcase of world class triathlon that is absolutely free for spectators, but for the work we do with the schools and community around the actual race.

“Venture Taranaki and TSB Community Trust have been pivotal to that activity, and once again this year we have a comprehensive programme of athlete visits to local schools and community groups, as we look to engage with the children and inspire them to be physically fit and active – regardless of what sport or activity that might be.”

A truly international event, the Quality Hotel Plymouth International ITU World Cup Triathlon is one that continues to put the region on the map thanks to significant media coverage, something not lost on Venture Taranaki.

“Venture Taranaki has been behind this event from its inaugural visit to Taranaki in November 2005,” says Chief Executive Stuart Trundle.

“The benefits of welcoming some of the world’s top triathletes include a high level of engagement and inspiration our own potential athletes and achievers, and a high level of international media coverage which reinforces Lonely Planet’s judgement that Taranaki is one of the world’s top regional destinations.”


In a new partnership, Global Sports Mentoring Programme will support the event. An initiative created by the U.S. Department of State, implemented alongside programme partners espnW and the University of Tennessee Centre for Sport, Peace and Society.

Barret says the funding is targeted towards a specific project at the New Plymouth event.

“With the support of Global Sports Mentoring Programme, we have created the Tri New Plymouth Female Mentoring Programme, which will create mentoring opportunities for female officials, volunteers, event organisers and media through the ITU Triathlon World Cup.

“The goal is to increase the percentage of female officials and event management staff at the event and consequently generate greater participation of young women and girls in all aspects of sport while gaining recognition for female officials in the public eye. You don’t need to compete to be a part of sport, there are so many other roles at an event that females can be involved with.”


And to cap off a great couple of weeks for the March 25th event, WIL Sports has stepped up as naming rights partner to the Oceania Junior Championship races, underlining their existing support of the sport and young athletes.

Phil and Cheryl London started WIL Sports 18 years ago in a very much philanthropic support of young athletes.

“We do not sell anything and athletes we support do not have to repay any money back to us. Nor do we ‘clip the ticket’ on anything they may earn in the future. Our philosophy is simply to help provide a pathway for talented athletes to reach their potential. Whether that ends up been at a club, national or international level. Support is always financial but may be connecting with right coaches or mentors to take them to the next level.”

Both are keen sports people themselves and know the challenges that young athletes can face. Their support extends now to over 300 athletes in a variety of sports, but they do have a close association with triathlon and have worked with emerging elite New Zealand athlete Nicole van der Kaay for some years.

“WIL Sport has brought us into contact with many different sporting organisations and so allows us to make some comparisons on how they have each adapted to the rapidly changing sporting environment. We get to see how those sports prepare and fund their athletes for higher honours.

“We get our reward from seeing young New Zealand athletes test themselves on the world stage and in many cases, share their excitement as they stand on the podium. But it is also seeing them mature as individuals as they get to express themselves in their chosen sport. We don’t set out to make champions – but provide a pathway to see what it takes to become a champion. Athletes soon find out if they have what it takes to reach the top.”

The WIL Sport OTU Oceania Junior Triathlon Championship events will take place on the Sunday morning, March 25th, prior to the ITU World Cup sprint races for elite women and men.


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