Athletes gear up for next Kingy Triathlon
KINGSCLIFF will soon brace for the return of the biannual triathlon, which will see athletes descend on the coastal town next week.
Tensions between organisers and the business community have not quite dissipated. Kingscliff Triathlon race director Mike Crawley said the involvement of the local community was "ingrained within the Kingscliff Triathlon”, with volunteers from a host of local groups getting on board to help make the event possible.
He said "extensive” efforts to engage the business community to iron out disagreements over closures of Kingscliff's main street had not had a strong response.
He said this made it difficult for event organisers to respond to the community's concerns.
"We've sought input from everybody ... and we've had very little direct feedback,” Mr Crawley said.
However he reiterated claims the triathlon offered an ongoing boost to the town, with 18 per cent of participants having never visited Kingscliff before.
"It does cause a disruption ... but most people are staying for two or three days,” he said.
"The triathlon in Kingscliff is a community sports event that celebrates our wonderful beach-side location.
"For many athletes, it's their first time on the Tweed Coast and it is a great showcase weekend to bring people back for a holiday at another time.”
Kingscliff and District Chamber of Commerce president Mark Humphries said while some businesspeople had spoken out against the event, the chamber's members were "entirely supportive” of the triathlon.
"It's positive, it promotes the area and it's only good for the local businesses,” MrHumphries said.
As part of the event, the RSL Marching Band will be at the registration area next to the Cudgen SLSC from 2pm on Saturday.
Race registration and bike-racking will take place there from 2-5pm that day.
The triathlon features five distances, including two specifically tailored for children, in the event's 16th instalment on Sunday, December 3.
Event manager Kevin Pready hoped the triathlon would get a boost from excitement around the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.
"The kids' races kick off the day and it's the favourite part of the event for our team,” Mr Pready said.
"The last few years we have had great participation from the local kids. It's fantastic to see so many have a go at their first triathlon and get active with this great sport.”
Marine Pde will be impacted by road closures from 6.30-11am on Sunday, December 3.
Mr Crawley said while numbers were currently down from previous events - which typically book out by the weekend prior - registration was still open at kingsclifftriathlon.com.au.