OPINION: Why Hervey Bay should host the national tri title
THERE is no better place suited to host an Australian triathlon championship than Hervey Bay.
Queensland School Sport confirmed it will again lobby School Sport Australian and Triathlon Australia for the right to host the Australian Schools Triathlon Festival in either 2019 or 2020.
Should the Sunshine State be successful, Hervey Bay is in the box seat to win hosting rights.
And so it should.
Co-convenors Brian Harrington and Cass Kimlin, along with countless volunteers, an enthusiastic council and supportive community have turned the privilege of hosting the QSS Triathlon Championships into an art.
Months of hard work pays off every year as the state title, which attracts more than 600 athletes and thousands of visitors, runs like clockwork.
A team of 36 athletes will travel to the western Sydney suburb of Penrith in April for the second consecutive year to compete at the national title. In doing so, they will attempt to win their 13th overall championship.
Triathlon is Queensland School Sport's most successful sporting discipline. Harrington, the renowned Hervey Bay triathlon coach who worked closely with Gold Coast Commonwealth Games debutante Matt Hauser through his formative years, will lead the team as head coach, and is gunning for his tenth-straight title.
QSS triathlon chair Kim Beckinsale said the state body viewed athlete safety as paramount to choosing a host for such events.
The Gold and Sunshine Coasts may be closer to populous centres and may be home to some of the best surf life saving athletes in the country, but Hervey Bay's calm waters serves as the perfect equaliser for athletes, as well as a way to further develop future swimmers.
The support from council, local businesses, and various community groups that provide up to 50 volunteers proves the region is wholly supportive of such events.
Beckinsale said one of the only negative factors could be access for athletes from interstate, but that is an issue for any venue.