The Tumut Cycle Classic is geared up and ready to make its return to the region’s calendar of events.
The classic was cancelled last year due to the Dunns Road bushfire.
Previously it had been successful in raising funds for the Tumut District Hospital, and even last year, despite the cancellation of the event, sponsorship money and some registrations were used to buy urology equipment for the hospital and a $10,000 donation made to the Tumut RFS.
Organisers have been busy preparing for next year’s event, scheduled for Sunday, January 10, especially ensuring it will be Covid-compliant.
“We are going to have Covid-safe marshals ensuring people are social distancing and sanitiser stations,” Tumut Cycle Classic president Dr Tarek Sari said.
Fortunately, cycling is one of the more Covid-safe sports.
“People will have gloves on, and they are going to be on their bikes.”
This doesn’t mean organisers will be complacent, and riders taking on the different distances of the event will be more spaced out.
“Usually, the 100km riders will leave with the 75km, but this time, the 100km group will leave first, then the 75 will leave later, and then an hour-and-half later, the 40km group will leave, and 15 minutes after that, the 20km group will leave,” Dr Sari said.
“This is another way we are encouraging distancing. We will also be giving a safety speech and we’ll have added signs.”
Covid safety advice will also be available on the Classic’s website and Facebook page.
As outside sporting events are limited to 500 people, the Classic will be capped at 450 riders.
“We are also going to have volunteers, and having less people makes it easier for us to manage,” Dr Sari said.
It seemed that the Classic was a real risk of being called off due to the pandemic, but Dr Sari is happy with the effort NSW has put in to contain the spread of the virus.
“We thank the NSW Government and Health for their hard work in keeping us safe,” he said.
Since its inception, the Classic has raised just under $150,000 for Tumut Hospital.
“We were able to purchase an oxygen saturation machine in 2015, in 2017 eight mobility beds, in 2018, the endoscopy telepack tower, which brings specialist services to Tumut, in 2019 we bought five bariatric beds, and they are in the emergency and recovery wards,” Dr Sari said.
“In 2020, even though the event was cancelled, through the generosity of our sponsors and some of the registration money, we were able to purchase urology equipment, which
will bring urology services to Tumut; plus we gave $10,000 to the Tumut RFS.”
Dr Sari said this is not just an event bringing tourism, but it’s an event that is supporting the local hospital, and the equipment it has raised money to purchase can be used by all the different age groups in the community.
“We would like to thank all our sponsors, because without them we wouldn’t be able to reach our fundraising targets and support the hospital,” he said.
The Sydney Muslim Cyclists will have 50 cyclists entering, and 100 people coming down all up.
“This will be a boost for the local economy,” Dr Sari said.
For more information and for registration, go to www.tumutclassic.com.au.