WINNER: Joey Lampe won the 2013 Yamba Triathlon. Photo JoJo Newby
WINNER: Joey Lampe won the 2013 Yamba Triathlon. Photo JoJo Newby

Triathlon's big payoff

THE Yamba Triathlon Festival, which delivered more than $640,000 to the community in its first year, could nearly double that amount in the future.

A report to the environment and planning committee of Clarence Valley Council said the three-day event, from October 11-13, kicked in $569,507 from the visitor spend, $7675 in donations to community groups and $70,000 to 35 casual employees contracted to set up and hire equipment.

The outcome was pleasing for the council, which in April last year engaged consultants Sports Marketing Australia to develop an event for the region to cash in on the sports tourism market.

In May the council resolved to host the inaugural Yamba Triathlon Festival, agreeing to kick in $12,000 for the first year and $10,000

in 2014 and 2015. The first year donation was later reduced to $10,000 when the organisers, Elite Energy's promised 1000 competitors did not materialise.

Because of conflicts with other triathlon events, the festival attracted 510 competitors.

Although fewer than the number promised, it compared favourably with similar first-time events in other venues, including Orange and Huskisson.

The company said the October 11-13 dates conflicted or were in close proximity with events held in south-east Queensland and Port Macquarie last year, which affected its drawing power.

It is looking into this issue and has yet to announce a suitable date for the event this year.

The council said the festival provided excellent value for money as a marketing and promotion tool.

"The media coverage Yamba and the Clarence Valley received prior to, during and post the event was significant and reached new target markets for tourism and relocation," the report read.

"The dollar amount of this coverage is something way beyond the $10,000 invested in council's sponsorship.

Two local businesses were major sponsors and they have both indicated they were keen to renew their sponsorship contracts for the 2014 festival.

"In general, positive feedback has been received by the event organisers and council's economic development staff from residents, visitors and businesses."



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