HERVEY Bay will be the home of a new multisport event that is expected to inject $750,000 into the local economy next year.
The Stockland Bay Break was launched on Monday, with the inaugural event to include three runs, three ocean water swims and two walks along the Hervey Bay foreshore and beach.
Organisers, who have partnered with the Fraser Coast Chronicle, believe the event has huge potential with about 1600 participants expected next year, rising to 5000 in three years.
Bay Break organising committee president David Dwyer said the event, to be held on April 11, would become the Coast's largest annual sporting event.
He said Hervey Bay already punched well above its weight when it came to triathlons and other beach and water-based events and the Bay Break would complement the existing sporting calendar.
"We are a community organisation that wants to see Hervey Bay build an annual event that showcases our beautiful foreshore and provides an economic boost to the town," Mr Dwyer said.
"Participants in the Bay Beak will have the option of competing in one of three runs in the morning, a beach walk or three ocean swims in the afternoon, including specific events for junior runners and swimmers."
The event, which targets athletes of all ages and fitness abilities, will be based at the Hervey Bay Surf Club.
"The concept of targeting all types of athlete and all ages has given us wide appeal," Mr Dwyer said.
"And the idea that you can be a participant by walking along our beautiful beach is unique to Stockland Bay Break."
Fraser Coast Mayor Gerard O'Connell said the event was not only great news for the area's reputation as an events capital but great news for local business and the economy.
"It is well documented that we have a high number of residents in the unsafe weight range and another event encouraging them to get more active can only help turn this trend around," he said.
Stockland Shopping Centre manager Paul Kesley said being the major sponsor of Bay Break was another way the company was showing its support for the community.
"We consider ourselves an important part of this community and its future and we are prepared to contribute to make Hervey Bay, and the wider Fraser Coast, a better and healthier place to live," he said.
"We believe the Stockland Bay Break can grow into a major event on the annual community calendar and appeal to both locals and tourists."
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