Letters: Sad and regrettable news

Decision to cancel the triathlon was short-sighted

Dear Mayor Milne, Sooke council and CRD JdF director Mike Hicks:

After receiving the announcement of the  Subaru Sooke Triathlon cancellation, the Sooke Region Chamber of Commerce received numerous phone calls, email and social media comments from members and non-members.

The general consensus was the decision to end the triathlon is extremely shortsighted.

People (tourists and athletes) from all over the world came to Sooke to participate in this event and marveled at the beauty, friendly people (300 volunteers), and how a community the size of Sooke was able to support an event of this magnitude. The triathlon had gained tremendous momentum over the past six years and brought international exposure and recognition to the Sooke region. It reached a very wide audience and showcased the area in ways that you would otherwise need thousands and thousands of dollars to accomplish.

Although the District of Sooke and council supported this event, with a $25,000 investment, we received disappointing news from our mayor regarding the cancellation.

With all due respect, if council truly supported this event, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan would not be hosting our triathlon in 2013. The District of Sooke, it seems, did not go to any extra measures when the triathlon was in jeopardy by the Juan de Fuca director and the select few naysayers who were “inconvenienced” for four hours on a Sunday, one day of the year,  expressing community safety issues as their argument… despite the fact the roads were not completely closed with windows of opportunity (periodic openings) and access still permissable during the race.

The benefits of having the triathlon in Sooke provided tangible and immediate revenues for numerous Sooke region businesses. Figures from the Prestige Hotel indicate a loss of $36,500 (242 room nights) for the 2013 event cancelled – equivalent to one full-time position. Another smaller business saw an increase of 10 to 15 per cent to their business during the 2012 triathlon. These are just two businesses, now multiply that by dozens.

There has been tremendous community benefits as shown through the incredible amount of local volunteerism involved in the triathlon, as well as community spirit shown by the family/kids race held in Sooke around the triathlon. Further benefit that helps the Sooke region over the long term is the follow up with tourism and potential economic investments to the area from those that experienced the event in person or via the exposure through the tremendous TV coverage. Over time, this equates to millions of dollars.

The tone this has set is one which has become very familiar to locals and outside stakeholders that have an interest in doing something in Sooke. We are all for progress, as long as it doesn’t include change or short term inconvenience. Let’s hope that we are able to overcome this short sightedness and come up with something as beneficial to our community before it’s too late.

Kari Osselton

Sooke Region Chamber of Commerce

Executive Director

Just Posted

Busy Tuesday for BC Ferries passengers

First sailings to and from Swartz Bay sold out

Rain with a high of 16 C for Tuesday

Plus your weekly forecast

Canada Women’s Rugby 7s Team land at home after series triumph

Next stop at Langford offers Olympic qualification

Castaway Wanderers men, women advance to B.C. semifinals

Castaway Wanderers men trounce UVic 59-29 in playoffs

Esquimalt requests public feedback as it plans for plastic bag ban

An online survey aims to gather information before the ban comes into effect in January 2020

Easter bombings a response to New Zealand attacks, says Sri Lanka minister

The Islamic State group asserted it was responsible for the nine bombings

New commemorative loonie marking ‘progress’ for LGBTQ2 people to be unveiled today

But advocates say it mistakenly suggests equality has been achieved largely as a result of government actions

B.C. VIEWS: NDP’s lawyer show is turning into a horror movie

Court actions pile up over pipelines, car insurance, care aides

United Way opens grants to help charities tackle social issues

Charities north of the Malahat can apply for grants $2,000 to $20,000

Sri Lanka invokes war-time military powers after nearly 300 killed in Easter bombings

Sri Lanka’s minister of tourism says 39 foreign tourists were killed in the Easter Sunday attacks

Man’s body found in popular Cowichan Valley hiking area

Police say death not suspicious after discovery in Stoney Hill area overlooking Saltspring Island

Multiple sailing waits as BC Ferries deals with Easter Monday traffic

89 extra sailings had been added to the long weekend schedule

Vancouver Island-based company provides glass alternatives to plastic straws

Enviro Glass Straws now producing more than 60,000 straws each year

Most Read