Organisers of the Corowa Triathlon are again unsure about what the future holds for the event as they prepare for this Sunday’s annual triathlon.
The popular event attracts between 120 and 150 competitors each year, bringing plenty of supporters and tourism dollars to the town.
“This time last year, we didn’t think we would have a pool,” event co-ordinator Paul Schnelle said.
“The council plans were to get us a new pool, which meant that we would be without a pool for the summer. So, last year, we thought that it would be our last triathlon.”
Events surrounding the Federation Council, including the election of a new council and the termination of the previous general manager have seen the pool project packed in mothballs, says Mr Schnelle.
“At the end of the day, we won’t have a triathlon for whatever year they actually rebuild the pool and then potentially if we only end up with a 25 metre pool I think the swim league becomes pretty redundant,” he said.
“A smaller pool probably means the end of the triathlon.
“If we want to keep the triathlon going we really need a 50 metre pool.”
Mr Schnelle said recent publicity revealed that Government grants received to help fund the construction of a new pool have to be spent by 2019.
“This puts the new council in a tricky position, needing to make a decision soon as to whether to construct a 25 metre indoor pool, the preference of the terminated general manager, or to rebuild the current outdoor 50 metre pool, which has seen a lot of support from the locals,” he said.
“Either way, the decision needs to be made quickly if they are to finish construction in 2019.
“I can totally understand why council’s hands are tied and they are finding it hard to make a decision because it’s certainly a lot of money and at the end of the day whatever they do is not going to keep everyone happy.”
The Corowa Triathlon includes an 18 kilometre ride on flat roads towards Redlands and return, followed by a 300 metre swim in the Corowa Pool and a 5 kilometre run on the bike path in town.
“It’s a relatively short triathlon for people who do them all the time and it’s a nice way for people to fill in their Sunday,” Mr Schnelle said.
“It is a fast course for the seasoned triathlete and a friendly course for the beginner.
“It starts at 9am and it’s all over by 10.30am.”
Competitors from Albury-Wodonga and Wangaratta have joined local athletes, including many teams over the past eight years.
There are trophies and prizemoney on offer.
This year electronic timing has been introduced to give athletes more feedback on their performance.
Mr Schnelle explained that the Corowa Swim Club, who organise the triathlon, would obviously like a 50 metre pool to enable the club to continue to hold swimming meets with the Ovens and Murray Swimming Association and to assist swimmers to train for longer events.
“We would also like a 25m indoor pool to enable 52 week access,” he said.