Sports

Crescent Beach Triathlon in jeopardy

A new title sponsor is needed for the Crescent Beach Triathlon, and organizers have one month to find one.

After three years as the chief sponsor of the annual summer event, Envision Financial will not lend its name nor its chequebook to the race in 2008, says race director Aart Looye.

Earlier this fall, Looye received a letter from Envision letting him know that the company would not be renewing its $5,000 sponsorship package, instead choosing to focus its charitable dollar on arts and entertainment-related events. Envision has offered to let Looye and the race organizers continued use of their four large tents.

Looye is now canvassing the local business community to find a suitable replacement. If another sponsor isn’t found by January, the race – now in its 25th year – will be in jeopardy.

“I’m looking for local people to pick up the slack now, or else we’ll be out of luck,” he said.

“The $5,000 that Envision donates really makes or breaks the event because we have hard (up-front) costs that we have to deal with, and the registrations fees (of the athletes) just isn’t enough.”

The January deadline is in place because all the permits and agreements, with Triathlon BC, the City of Surrey, the RCMP and others, take time – and money – to put in place.

With the profile the race has gained over the years, Looye also said he wasn’t interested in putting together a bare-bones event.

“If we said no to T-shirts, and no to medals, and no to a lot of stuff, we could probably pull it off,” he said.

“But if you’re going to do that, then really what’s the point?”

Looye, one of B.C.’s top masters swimmers, was still hopeful that the race would get the green light.

“It’d be nice to be able to celebrate the silver anniversary of the race,” he said.

“We’re not in it to make money. We just want to be able to keep doing it.”

The only year the triathlon – which annually draws between 100-150 competitors – didn’t take place was in 2004, when low tides prompted cancellation of the event. The following year, Looye took over race director responsibilities.

The 2008 race is tentatively slated for Aug. 4. Anyone wanting more information on sponsorship opportunities can contact Looye at aartlooye@hotmail.com

sports@peacearchnews.com

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