TRIATHLON Zimbabwe (TZ) are targeting a 25 percent growth when the association hosts the 2020 edition of the Bonaqua Troutbeck ATU Triathlon Africa Cup scheduled for Nyanga Troutbeck Resort on February 22.
Apart from the star attraction elite races and the national junior championships TZ events manager Rick Fulton said they are looking at capitalising on other areas such as off-road triathlon and the tri-kids that have a significant growth potential.
“We have done some extensive marketing into various sectors that we know we can grow the area. Obviously we spoke about the swim element which is in partnership with the Zimbabwe Aquatic Union so we have done some marketing in that area in conjunction with them,” Fulton told the Daily News on the side lines of a media briefing in the capital.
“There’s quite a big and significant growth area that we see in the off-road triathlon which is the guys who ride the mountain bikes and do the trial run which is not the traditional road triathlon which is what the elites and the juniors will be doing and a lot of the age group guys.
“So we have a huge contingent of people here in Zimbabwe who ride mountain bikes they can do off-road races either as individuals or they can compete as teams…and obviously the youngsters could do the tri-kids and anything like that we are looking at growing them year after year lots of good numbers there so those are sort of key areas we see lots of growth there.”
Arguably the greatest news for TZ is the return of former Junior Women African Champion Laurelle Brown after completing her studies in the UK. She is set to field at this year’s Africa Cup as an elite triathlete.
“I think it’s great, I think she’s got a great pedigree she was the 2013 Junior Africa Champion she won silver at the Rabat Africa games in the triathlon there. I think she will do well and she’s holding her head up higher in that race,” Fulton said.
“She has got the home advantage — the crowd will be behind her as she’s loved by everybody she will be a crowd favourite and you know what that does to you she won’t let us down.”
Brown said she is also excited to come back home and see through her transition from the juniors into elites.
“I think there’s quite a lot of expectation on me to do quite well but I’m just taking this year as it comes and hoping to get a little more competitive again,” Brown said.
“Just starting to find my feet, seeing how I compare to athletes from the rest of the world and, obviously…this race counts towards continental and Olympic points.”