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World Triathlon Festival Launched in New Plymouth



World Triathlon Festival Launched in New Plymouth


Triathlon New Zealand today launched an ambitious and exciting four year project to focus the world of triathlon on New Plymouth each April with the announcement of the Port Taranaki World Triathlon Festival, incorporating a round of the ITU BG World Cup series.

Triathlon NZ CEO Dave Beeche said confirmation of a further four years and further development of the World Triathlon Festival will deliver an event to appeal to all people in a celebration of the sport and the region.

“Next April will see a host of the world’s very best triathletes coming to New Plymouth to race in the BG World Cup. And when you talk about the best triathletes in the world, you are talking about New Zealanders with both male and female elite categories dominated by the silver fern this year.

“But we wanted to make this event about so much more than just the elite; it is a celebration of our sport and the region. Over the four days in April we will host thousands of participants in various events ranging from the Weet-Bix Tryathlon for children to walking events, to an ocean swim to the actual triathlon races for people of all ages and abilities, including the elite in the BG World Cup race. Hence the catch phrase for the World Triathlon Festival is ‘Taranaki Challenges You’ as we look to motivate people of all backgrounds and abilities.”

The April 3rd to 6th event will showcase the New Plymouth region to the rest of New Zealand and the world, with television and live internet coverage sending images and commentary to millions around the globe.

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The region stands to gain considerable economic benefit with spin offs from overseas and domestic tourists for the accommodation, service and retail sectors.

His worship the Mayor of New Plymouth Peter Tennent was a delighted man at the launch.

“This is a wonderful day for the region; we like to call it the triathlon capital of New Zealand! During the festival you will see 105,000 supporters out in force cheering on the competitors in every event from the Weet-Bix kids to the elite World Cup athletes.”

Beeche makes no bones about the fact the event would not have proceeded without the support of the local business community and council.

“This is a huge undertaking and simply would not have got across the line without the partnership with Port of Taranaki and our family of sponsors. Such an international event of this caliber does not happen without solid infrastructure and a considerable financial platform. The enthusiasm and commitment to the event from Ports of Taranaki is ultimately what has got us over the line and in a position to announce details today.”

The World Triathlon Festival also enjoys support form Mayor Peter Tennent and his council; Venture Taranaki, New Zealand Community Trust, TSB Community Trust, Yarrow Bakery and TSB Bank.

The news is a great fillip also for New Zealand athletes with the chance to race in an ITU World Cup in their own ‘patch.’

Debbie Tanner and Shane Reed represented their fellow Kiwi elite athletes at the launch, with Tanner featuring in the advertising campaign ‘Taranaki Challenges You’.

"Our careers are so dominated by international travel and it seems sometimes we spend as much time on planes, trains and buses as we do on bikes or in the pool! Racing at home is truly a luxury and one that any athlete would look forward to immensely. More than that though it is a wonderful opportunity to showcase our sport to New Zealand and in particular the region of Taranaki. There is nothing like seeing a sporting event live to inspire and motivate people to take up their own challenges in life, no matter how big or small they might be.”

Fellow elite athlete Shane Reed has extra motivation to do well as he will be racing in his home town. 

"We race all around the world and on all continents in all weather conditions and on any given day there might be 50 athletes in with a show of winning. To think that all of that will once again come to New Zealand and my home town of New Plymouth is just incredible. For me it means a chance to race in front of friends, families and sponsors and repay the faith and support they have given me throughout my career. “


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