Senior Sports Reporter
BONAQUA Africa Triathlon Cup event director, Rick Fulton, says they have been working on ensuring the safety of everyone who will be involved in the event.
The event is expected to take place on September 25, in Nyanga.
It was initially scheduled for February but had to be moved because of the Covid-19 pandemic. This year marks the 14th edition of the event and it has grown to be one of the leading competitions on the continent.
Coca-Cola are the lead sponsors, through their Bonaqua water brand.
Speaking during an online media workshop, Fulton said all Covid-19 protocols will be observed, at the event, which features athletes from across the world.
The workshop was mainly to refresh the media about the sport, and update them on the various Covid-19 measures, which will be put in place, during the event.
“Principle is that we follow local requirements and World Triathlon event protocols that include implementing all possible measures for respecting the social distancing and hygiene requirements,” said Fulton.
“World Triathlon is following all the recommendations from WHO.
“World Triathlon fully respects and supports the initiatives of the LOCs (Local Oganising Committees) and the National Health advice of each country on this matter.
“The IOC (International Olympic Committee) has advised that, during the evolving Covid-19 outbreak, adequate protection of the health, and safety of athletes, must remain a priority. “Under the IOC regulations, event organisers must ensure all athletes are covered by sufficient measures, to protect their health, and that they have access to prompt medical care, while participating in the event.
“Event organisers have put in place preventive measures, to stop the transmission of infection, and put in place mitigation measures, to minimise disease risk.
“Event organisers must ensure that any athlete, or participant in an event on their territory that needs immediate medical care, is given access to medical facilities.”
Different sponsors for the event – Coca-Cola, Bon Marche, Toyota, Cimas and Rooney’s were part of the workshop.
They commended Triathlon Zimbabwe for their professionalism.
Coca-Cola Frontline, Marketing Portfolio Activations Manager Zimbabwe, Faith Nehanda, said they were proud of their relationship with triathlon.
“As the Coca-Cola Company and our bottling partner, Schweppes Zimbabwe Limited, we are pleased to sponsor this event, which has been of great value to the country, and the athletes.
“Triathlon has been a good model when it comes to promoting sports tourism.
“We are proud of our seven-year relationship with the sport of triathlon in Zimbabwe,” said Nehanda.
Rooney’s managing director, Niall Rooney, said they have witnessed the event grow from a small event, to a world-class one, in the past 14 years. Triathlon Zimbabwe president, David Ellis, said they were grateful for the support they continue to get from their sponsors.
“It is through such mutual interest, and commitment to plough back to the society, that together we can develop our sports,” said Ellis.
The ATU Junior Triathlon Africa Cup will take place at the same venue.
It will see Zimbabwe hosting junior athletes from Egypt, Tunisia, Mauritius, Namibia and South Africa. Zimbabwe Olympic Committee chief executive, Stephen Mudawarima, hailed the sponsors and said there was need to push for athletes, to qualify for the Olympics.
Apart from the elite and junior races, other supporting events on the day include an African Cross-Triathlon (off-road) Championship, Schweppes Corporate Triathlon Challenge, Zimbabwe Triathlon Championships, Tri-Kidz and Trisports triathlon, Aquathlon (run-swim-run) and an Open Water Swim, all under the banner of the Bonaqua Troutbeck Multisport Festival.