Anger and sadness at cancellation of 2018 Petersfield Triathlon

21st March 2018

Triathlon Club forced to give way to Vélo South event

The Petersfield Triathlon Club have regrettably been forced to cancel their popular annual triathlon, due to be held on Sunday 23rd September 2018, to give way to the Vélo South cycle ride being held on the same day.

The Vélo South event, a 100-mile cycle ride starting and finishing at Goodwood motor racing circuit, will result in road closures and major disruption around Petersfield and West Sussex. The event uses the road from Harting to Rogate, which is the same road that the triathlon would have used.

The date of the 2018 Petersfield Triathlon was decided last September, but organisers of the Vélo South, CSM Active, gave the Triathlon Club no choice other than to change the cycle route or find another date. This is not possible due to other local events around that time.

FitzRoy, the Petersfield based charity that supports adults with learning disabilities and autism, was due to benefit from the triathlon as its charity partner and will now suffer a £5000 fundraising shortfall as a result.

CSM have been asked to cover this gap in fundraising but have so far not responded. CSM have not chosen to support smaller, local charities with their event, despite the disruption and impact it will cause to local communities.

Anna Galliford, Chief Executive of FitzRoy said:

“We are extremely sad that the people we support with learning disabilities and autism will not benefit from the money that would have been raised at the 2018 Petersfield Triathlon. The donation from the triathlon club would have made a significant difference to some of the most vulnerable members of our local community.

“We were planning on using the money to fund our Love4Life project, which helps people with learning disabilities and autism find love and friendship – something many of us take for granted. Love4Life also combats social isolation, hate crime, and helps people find employment. It’s hugely disheartening that the organisers of Vélo South have not considered the local communities they will be impacting.”

Kim King, Chair of Petersfield Triathlon Club said:

“We are angry and disappointed that we have no choice but to cancel our tremendously successful triathlon in 2018. As a local volunteer-driven event, the triathlon is enjoyed by many of the Petersfield community each year and more young people have been getting involved in the sport and volunteering. It’s unfair that we have been left with no choice but to give way to a larger event.

“The Vélo South cycle ride will cause major disruption to many local roads in the area and it’s clear there has been a woeful lack of planning and consultation with the local community. The Petersfield Triathlon will be back in 2019, even if we have to choose a different time of year.”

The Triathlon Club and FitzRoy are urging CSM Active to cover the £5000 fundraising shortfall which would go some way to mitigating the impact of the loss of this popular event.

FitzRoy welcome the support of any riders taking part in the Vélo South event who are yet to choose a charity to fundraise for. People can contact our fundraising team for more information on how they can make a difference.

Update: CSM have since been in contact with FitzRoy and are trying to find a solution.
  • Ends –
Notes to editors
  • For more information contact Alex Thwaites, Head of Marketing, Communications and Fundraising, on 01730 711 103, 07811 526829, or email alex.thwaites@fitzroy.org
  • FitzRoy is a national charity that transforms the lives of people with learning disabilities and autism, helping them live more independently at home and in the community. We listen to people, helping them make their own choices. We believe disabilities shouldn’t exclude or hold people back from doing the things they want to do.
  • FitzRoy runs 91 locations across England and provides flexible support to over 800 adults with the support of around 900 staff nationally.
  • FitzRoy was founded in 1962 by Elizabeth FitzRoy whose son, Michael, had Down’s syndrome. She pioneered a new vision, to support adults with learning disabilities to live more independently, rather than in the institutional care which was available at the time.
  • fitzroy.org
  • Twitter: @FitzRoyUk
  • Facebook: FitzRoyUk-TransformingLives
  • YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzYpOhFZvuvddlxrQ_Uq0cQ