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Sunday 26 January 2020
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We can’t let triathlon die

Rainbow Cup’s Gooding unsure of 2020 edition but says,

In this June 8 file photo, athletes race to the water to start the swimming leg, of the 2019 Massy Rainbow Cup triathlon, held at Turtle Beach,Tobago. Chief organiser of the annual event Jason Gooding is determined to see the 2020 edition take place. - David Reid
In this June 8 file photo, athletes race to the water to start the swimming leg, of the 2019 Massy Rainbow Cup triathlon, held at Turtle Beach,Tobago. Chief organiser of the annual event Jason Gooding is determined to see the 2020 edition take place. - David Reid

THE value of sponsorship the organisers of the annual Rainbow Cup will receive for the 2020 edition is still uncertain, but one thing is for sure – chief organiser Jason Gooding will do everything possible to ensure the event takes place as he does not want the sport of triathlon to die in TT.

The hundreds of local, regional and international triathletes that flock to Tobago every year are hoping that the event carded for June 13, 2020 becomes a reality as the event is one of the most anticipated triathlon events in the Caribbean.

Massy has been the title sponsor of the event for approximately five years, but the company’s sponsorship is up in the air for 2020. The annual event also serves as this country’s national championships with TT’s top senior and junior triathletes training for months in the build up.

Gooding, along with his family and the Rainbow Warriors Triathlon Club, are hoping the 16th edition of the event will take place next year.

Gooding,however, is thankful for the support from Massy. “What they have done (is) they were able to inject the revenue that we needed to take it to the next level,” Gooding said.

Gooding is not sure if Massy would remain the title sponsor saying, “I am hoping that they still want to be involved, maybe they are reconsidering title sponsorship, but I really don’t know until I meet with them what Massy’s role is going to be.”

The former national triathlete said putting on a huge event such as the Rainbow Cup is expensive, but he is willing to try his best to hold the event to keep triathlon alive in TT. “If I have to do the Rainbow Cup, it is going to cost a lot. I am not willing to mortgage my house and take a loan to put on an event, but I also feel that if this event dies it is going to affect generations of triathletes because it is one good event that people look forward to.”

If anyone looks at the top ten finishers in the Olympic triathlon distance at the event last year they would realise the event is an international one. French, TT, Jamaican, Canadian and American athletes were all among the top participants in 2019.

Junior competitors dominate the sprint triathlon every year with the event being a staple on the youngsters calender.

Gooding’s father Ian died in 2018. His father was instrumental in making the event a success. Gooding said it will be a shame if all the hard work his dad and his entire team put in goes to waste.

“I am really hoping that I do get some positive news, I am really hoping that people step up and support it and see the importance of it and the people that have the available income see the importance of supporting something like this.”

Gooding is optimistic that the event will be held and has already began to prepare. “I am preparing as usual for it because there are things that need to be done now. I am going to open up registration soon because the (TT) Triathlon Federation has approached me a couple times and said, ‘Listen this is something that we need, let’s figure out how we could get it done.’ So even if it becomes something that is just downsized, all the glam and glitz and frills and all that stuff, if we take away all of that we could still have an event.”

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