2020 Sweat vs Steam called off

By Brayden May

ECHUCA-MOAMA'S prized Sweat vs Steam event will not go ahead in 2020.

On Friday, the organising committee announced this year's race could not be run due to the ongoing threat of the coronavirus pandemic.

Echuca Moama Triathlon Club president Steve Loader said the community's safety always had to come first with any decision.

“It’s really disappointing but we have an obligation to people in the twin towns to do the right thing,” he said.

“The risk is far too great, and it remains unclear just where the situation is going to go in the coming weeks and months.

“Then it just didn’t feel right for us to go and ask local businesses for sponsorship at a time where we are all hurting.

“When the tri club took over it was our intention to give something back to the community.

“We’re extremely thankful to our sponsors and we’re hopeful we can work together ahead of next year’s event.

“It’s not easy sitting as a committee and having to call off an event which has a special place in our community.

“Making this decision wasn’t easy at all.”

Loader said the potential extension of the NSW-Victoria border closure also had an impact in the decision.

“Last year we had about 100 local participants and that could be halved if people from NSW aren’t able to come across,” he said.

“Those who compete from the local area, as well as the volunteers who come from the other side of the river are extremely important to us.

“We couldn’t run the event without them.”

While Loader was clearly disappointed with the decision, he said he was already looking forward to Sweat vs Steam in 2021.

“Hopefully we can come back bigger and better,” he said.

“I can’t wait for the first big event we do have in the twin towns because it will be great for everyone.

“We can only hope it is sooner rather than later.”