17th January 2017
By Anne North
The transfer of Cornwall’s leisure centres from a local charity to a London-based company has got off to a shaky start even before the new contract comes into effect, following a decision to scrap the hugely popular community triathlons which have attracted thousands of competitors in recent years.
The events had been organised by Tempus Leisure – but they were not specified in Cornwall Council’s new contract with Greenwich Leisure Ltd (GLL.) GLL has said it will not run the triathlons in 2017. The new contract comes into effect on 1st April.
GLL said: “As these events are not part of the Cornwall Council leisure services contract, GLL will not be taking them on in the immediate future as our initial focus will be on improving the leisure facilities that are part of the contract, bringing significant investment and growing footfall.
“GLL are happy to support the events, by offering the use of leisure facilities it is contracted to provide from 1st April 2017, if Tempus Leisure or another operator decides to stage them.”
But having lost its contract last year, Tempus has told would-be competitors it cannot organise the events this year. In a letter to last year’s entrants the charity said: “I am sorry to advise that Tempus will not be delivering our series of highly successful sporting events throughout Cornwall after 1st April.
“The Land’s End 100 sportive we run will also be affected. The triathlon series and other annual sporting events have proved tremendously successful in engaging the Cornish community, and have become highlights in the sporting calendar for so many people.
“We are desperately sorry we won’t be continuing to run them in 2017. In 2016, more than 900 competitors took part in the Tempus Triathlons, held across Cornwall in Bodmin, Wadebridge, Helston, Falmouth, Liskeard and Penzance.
“In total the adult competitors swam an outstanding 399 km, cycled 21,432 km and ran 4,560 km.
“Four locations also held Mini Triathlons with a fantastic 1,440 children taking part.
“Our final event will be the annual An Res Helly 10-mile multi-terrain run, taking place in and around Helston on Sunday 26th March. Entries are now open for the scenic challenge, which attracted some 400 runners last year and is the fifth race in the Cornwall Road Running Grand Prix Series.
“We would like to thank all of you who as competitors made the community events we’ve run so successful. We hope through our events we have inspired people to continue participating in sporting activities for years to come.
“Thank you all for your enthusiasm, commitment and support over the years.”
Cornwall Council has yet to respond to a request for comment.