THE Super League Triathlon will not be held in Jersey this year – after the government confirmed that funding for the event had been pulled.
First staged in the Island in 2017, the sport’s top athletes – including Olympic gold medal winners – have competed at the Waterfront-based event.
But having had funding pulled for the second year in a row, the long-term future of Super League Triathlon in Jersey appears uncertain.
As part of the deal to bring the event to Jersey in 2017, a total of £200,000 was made available from the Tourism Development Fund with the rest of the £1.3 million coming from sponsorship and the Super League Triathlon organisation. SLT signed a five-year deal with Jersey in 2018, although that was on a ‘two-plus-three-year’ basis and was dependent on continued financial support from the government.
Super League Women’s Enduro 2021. Picture: Rob Currie
Assistant Economic Development Minister Lucy Stephenson, who has responsibility for sport, said that ‘competing requests’ for funding had led to a shift in ministerial focus.
‘It’s always wonderful to welcome events like Super League Triathlon to Jersey, and SLT are welcome to ask for financial support from government in future. My focus is on my ministerial priorities and considering how sport can enrich our local community, support the economy, and promote Jersey internationally.
‘All requests for funding will be considered in terms of their contribution to those criteria, and how they compare to other, competing requests,’ said Deputy Stephenson.
Former Economic Development Minister Lyndon Farnham – who played a key role in bringing the event to Jersey – said he had hoped the event could return to Jersey but was ‘not altogether surprised’ by the current government’s decision to remove funding.
‘I think the event did require considerable investment and it did return significant dividends to the Island. I’m not sure that the new government have the experience or the vision to invest in Jersey through international sporting events.
‘I hope that they will keep the decision under review,’ said Deputy Farnham.
Jersey triathlete, Ollie Turner. Picture: Rob Currie
He added: ‘The event has not only brought hundreds of people to Jersey out of season, we also benefited from the television coverage viewed by millions each year.
‘I think it’s disappointing.
‘The Super League Triathlon established strong connections with our community, especially for young people. Olympic athletes were coming to the Island to compete.’
Deputy Farnham said that had the pandemic not happened the potential ‘returns’ for the Super League Triathlon would have been significant.
‘The Super League Triathlon was gaining momentum – Jersey was one of the very first partners – and had we not been interrupted by the pandemic would have had great sporting and economic returns to the Island,’ he said.