The International Triathlon Union has confirmed that Triathlon New Zealand will host the 2012 Dextro Energy ITU World Champs Series Grand Final with the New Zealand bid chosen over others from Asia, the Middle East and Europe.
The Grand Final is the most prestigious event and highlight to the 8 race World Championship Season and will come to Auckland from 18-22 October 2012, bringing with it a host of international stars and thousands of international visitors.
Triathlon New Zealand CEO Dave Beeche says it’s been a long hard road to get to this point, and while there’s still plenty of work ahead he is delighted that the ITU has chosen New Zealand over other worthy bidders.
â€œThis is recognition of our standing in the world of triathlon but also the many hours and resource put into planning to host such a prestigious and high profile global event. In endorsing our bid the ITU is entrusting New Zealand with the biggest triathlon event on the calendar outside the Olympics, this is both a huge honour and responsibility, but one we and our event partners look forward to.
â€œWe have enjoyed fantastic support from the Auckland City Council and Major Events NZ. These two organisations led by Mayor John Banks and Minister Gerry Brownlee respectively have provided superb advice and resource in what is a significant international bid.
â€œHosting this World Champs Series Grand Finale will be a huge boost for the profile of Auckland and New Zealand with an estimated global TV audience in excess of 13million and a forecast economic impact for NZ in excess of NZ$30million.Â
â€œBut just as important is what this event will do for the sport and the profile here in New Zealand. This is like having the Olympics come to town for our sport; the very best in the world will race the likes of Bevan Docherty, Kris Gemmell, Andrea Hewitt and Debbie Tanner in our own backyard, past our own landmarks and in front of a parochial Kiwi crowd.â€
Indeed the Auckland waterfront triathlon will give everyday New Zealanders the chance to participate with the event doubling as the Age Group World Championships, bringing thousands of competitors from all around the world and giving Kiwis the chance to race for gold at home, something Beeche says may well inspire yet more into New Zealand’s fastest growing sport.
â€œParticipation and the accessibility of the sport for all Kiwis is at the heart of what we do at Tri NZ,â€ says Beeche. â€œThe chance to race for a World Champs medal at home is a rare one indeed and will see many begin planning to be a part of this great event in just over two years.â€
Auckland will host the four days of triathlon, with activity focused on the waterfront and CBD with transition, finish line and spectator viewing areas based on Queens Wharf. The elite athletes will take on a course that will include a tough climb to the top of the CBD on each of the 8 bike laps and a fast descent down Queen Street to the turnaround on Queens Wharf, making for superb watching live or on TV worldwide.Â As well as catering for the elite and competitive age group triathletes, the festival event will also host a corporate teams, kids and beginners events.Â
The bid and the hosting of the event have been made possible with the significant help of the Auckland City Council and the Government with the Minister for Economic Development Gerry Brownlee in particular providing assistance and funding for the event. Contributions committed to date for the 2012 event are as follows:
- Major Events NZ:Â $850k
- SPARC: $150k
- Auckland City Council:Â $1million
While this commitment represents a significant portion of the budget there is further work to be done in the coming months to secure the financial position of the event, particularly around the test event in 2011.Â Â
Mayor of Auckland City, John Banks is delighted with the news.
â€œThis is yet another successful major event bid for Auckland. After Rugby World Cup 2011, we can now look forward to hosting the Triathlon World Championships and Volvo Ocean Race in 2012, followed by the BMX World Championships in 2013.â€
â€œAuckland City Council has taken a lead role in attracting major sporting events to the city because of the significant benefits they bring with them. Our proactive strategy is continuing to pay off.â€
â€œThis event will provide the perfect opportunity to show off our city centre to the world. It will also be great for locals, who will be able to watch top international athletes competing on two of Auckland’s most iconic streets, Queen Street and Tamaki Drive,â€ says Mr Banks.
Government has shown its continued support for major events in New Zealand with Economic Development Minister Gerry Brownlee confirming the significant contribution towards the event.Â
â€œUp to $900,000 has been awarded from the Major Events Development Fund to enable Triathlon New Zealand to host and deliver the Grand Final in October 2012, and an associated test event at the same venue.â€ Mr Brownlee said.Â Â
â€œProviding support for this and other major events helps strengthen and increase capability across our events industry and provides opportunities to showcase New Zealand as a major event’s host, visitor destination and place to do business.Â
â€œThe Government is committed to working with New Zealand’s major events sector to help attract, deliver and grow selected high quality major events in New Zealand,â€ Mr Brownlee said.Â Â
Sport and Recreation New Zealand (SPARC) has also shown its support for the pinnacle event with SPARC CEO Peter Miskimmin confirming the significant contribution towards the event.Â
â€œSecuring an event of this kind involves a lot of organisations coming together. SPARC provided significant support in helping to bring all the key stakeholders together, providing guidance and advice, as well as a financial contribution of $150,000.â€
In a further boost for Auckland and the profile of the sport, the event will have a dress rehearsal in the hosting of an ITU World Cup event in 2011, with details to be confirmed.
Furthermore the event will leave a legacy for the sport and the City of Auckland with an annual corporate team triathlon event planned with participation the key driver, encouraging all New Zealanders to pursue a healthy lifestyle through triathlon. Further details of this legacy event will be released in due course.