Coast sporting identity Benny Pike believes cancelling the Noosa Tri Festival was a big mistake.
Coast sporting identity Benny Pike believes cancelling the Noosa Tri Festival was a big mistake.

Coast sporting great’s concerns for axed Noosa Tri

“They could still do it.”

That is the opinion of former Olympic boxer and long-time Coast sporting identity Benny Pike when asked about the cancellation of the 2020 Noosa Triathlon Festival.

Pike holds the Noosa Tri Festival very close to his heart – and so he should, as he played a big part in its inception back in 1983.

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For nearly 40 years, Pike’s incomparable voice could be heard across Noosa Heads as he gave his expert analysis on the country’s best triathletes.

Olympic swimmer Nick Darcy is interviewed by Benny Pike at 2008 Noosa Triathlon Multisports Festival. Picture: Andrew Seymour
Olympic swimmer Nick Darcy is interviewed by Benny Pike at 2008 Noosa Triathlon Multisports Festival. Picture: Andrew Seymour

So the news from Noosa Council that all mass gatherings in the region, including the Noosa Tri, would be cancelled until February 2021 due to COVID regulations, hit him more than most.

“I just want to see the event happen,” Pike said.

“Back in 1983, I stood on the back of a van, on a trailer with two speaker boxes and a microphone.

“I had no idea what a triathlon was.”

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As far as the former boxer was concerned, completely putting a red line through the 38-year-old Coast sporting festival was a mistake.

“With the Tri, it’s a history thing,” Pike said.

“At the end of the day, to pull out completely, the momentum is gone.

“There is going to be an enormous amount of people who are going to activate on their accommodation – so what are they going to do?”

As a veteran event organiser, Pike believed with a little bit of imagination, there was no reason why a COVID-safe sporting festival in Noosa couldn’t still go ahead.

He also reached out to Noosa Mayor Clare Stewart to offer his thoughts on an alternative.

“The most important part about sport is rain, hail, or shine an event goes on,” he said.

“They could still do it.

“OK, we are not going to have a tri, but let’s do something else.

“Think outside the square.”

Noosa Council previously indicated councillors were taking a precautionary approach to mass gatherings with a focus on the health and wellbeing of the community.


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