By Brad Culp on 28/04/10 at 4:31 pm
ITU President and IOC Member Marisol Casado spoke on a panel today at the 2010 Sport Accord International Convention in Dubai, emphasizing the ways in which host cities benefit through triathlon. Casado stressed the global exposure triathlon can bring with live television broadcasts, and the ways in which the sport promotes a balanced, healthy lifestyle.
Casado was on a panel entitled ‘City Forum 2010’, one of the key programmes at the global convention discussing values and social rewards of cities hosting international sporting events. She said, “Triathlon is genuinely recognised as a spectacular event for presenting a city. A unique aspect of our events is that they are not hosted in a stadium, but rather the city streets and waterways are its venue. Cities and local communities are benefited by international live TV coverage on national broadcasters, showcasing a city’s iconic landmarks to audiences across the globe.”
She added, “Promotion of fitness and a healthy lifestyle is also valuable to host cities. Triathlon doesn’t just provide a stage for elite competitions, but also each of our events includes a mass participation race that allows people of all ages and abilities to compete on the same world class stage as the elite athletes. As an example, we had more than 8,000 participants in our Hamburg event last year.”
“Many of our events also include a kids introduction to triathlon where we have children aged 5 to 15 participate in a controlled and safe environment. So the ‘Sport for all Concept’ is a key aspect in today’s world where obesity is a global problem, and cities and governments are anxious to find ways to curb this epidemic.”
“It is also important to recognise that triathlon involves many volunteers, which we believe, is of great benefit to cities as a social programme. Volunteer programmes represent a mutually beneficial relationship between ITU and host cities to create successful and sustainable events.”
Moderated by Don Schumacher, chairman of the National Association of Sports Commissions, the panel also included Hans den Oudendammer, director of Rotterdam Top Sport Foundation; Guru V.S. Malladi, Partner-Advisory Services-Infrastructure, Government, Ernst & Young India PVT Limited; and Shane O’Leary, CEO of Sydney 2009 World Masters Games Organising Committee.
The SportAccord International Convention is an annual meeting event gathering more than 100 international Olympic and non-Olympic sport federations and organisations. Led by President Casado, ITU delegates are Vice Presidents Dr. Sarah Springman, Bill Walker and Kyung-Sun Yu, and ITU Sport Director, Gergely Markus.