Sporting coup for Penrith

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November’s Ironman 70.3 Western Sydney, which will be held at the Sydney International Regatta Centre in Penrith, is expected to inject a whopping $2.5 million into Penrith’s local economy.

The international event, which was announced in December last year, will be held annually at the former Olympic venue each year until 2016, and is expected to put Penrith well and truly on the map for major events.

“Triathlon is recognised as one of the fastest growing sports across the world and to have the Ironman Asia Pacific come to Penrith is a significant achievement for our region and allows us to once again showcase some of the amazing sporting facilities Penrith has,” Penrith State MP, Stuart Ayres told the Weekender at the launch of the event.

“The Ironman course boasts smooth road surfaces and has the stunning Blue Mountains as a backdrop. Participants will swim in the purpose-built Penrith Lakes, and then complete a two lap run that encircles the International Regatta Centre, providing great exposure for our region’s world-class facilities.”

While the Ironman 70.3 is estimated to add millions of dollars into the local economy through overseas, interstate and intrastate visitor spend, Mr Ayres also hopes the November 30 event will send a statement to property developers about building a world class hotel in the Penrith area to keep up with demand when major events come to town.

One local athlete planning to take part in the end-of-year event is St Clair resident, Jess Hurst, who has been competing in triathlons for the past three years.

“I’ve never done a half Ironman before but I’m very excited it’s coming to Penrith, I think it’s perfect,” she said.

“I think it will attract a lot of athletes and tourists to the area.”

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