Our aim is to deliver quality events while keeping our entry fees to a minimum, our donations to a maximum and our participants happy.
Village Sports Coffs Harbour organises home-grown sporting events and gives generously to local charities and community groups. Since 2013, Village Sports has donated over $320,000 to the Coffs Coast community.
It was set up in 2013 by locals Mick Maley and Sinclair Black, who are extremely passionate about promoting a healthy lifestyle and getting all ages and abilities involved in sporting activities.
Village Sports runs three major sporting events each year: the bcu Coffs TRI in March; the Beachside Radiology Coffs Ocean Swims in April; and the Bendigo Bank Coffs Harbour Running Festival in September.
The events attract over 3,500 competitors annually, from babies in prams to professional athletes and everyone in between. More than half of these participants are visitors to the Coffs Coast, who come with their families and friends, which is great for tourism and the local economy.
Village Sports has donated over $320,000 to the following organisations, who are all involved in helping deliver the quality events: Coffs Harbour, Sawtell, Woolgoolga and Urunga Surf Life Saving Clubs; Corindi and Coffs Harbour SES Crews; St John Ambulance; CanDo Cancer Trust; Life Education; Coffs Coast Autism; Early Connections; Camp Quality; Marine Rescue; Rotary; and the Disabled Surfers Association.
The donations have a significant positive impact on all of these local charities and community groups, who are able to put the funds to very good use.
Stacey Bayliss, Business Development Manager at Early Connections, is very grateful to be a recipient of the Village Sports funds.
“Last year the donation went towards new furniture and resources for education and therapy for children with a diagnosed disability or a developmental delay. Support from community organisations such as Village Sports helps make a difference in the services we are able to offer local families. Currently, funds raised are going to our playground renovation project.”
Sawtell Surf Club used the funds received from Village Sports in 2018 for a much-needed IRB motor, essential for saving lives on the beach. Marine Rescue’s cheque will go towards maintaining its rescue vessel, so that it may serve the local boating community’s needs.
Camp Quality’s Community Fundraising Officer Bec Haagsma, said, “We love being part of the running festival each year; it’s such a great day and a fantastic community event. Without events like this and the funds they raise, the impact we make simply wouldn’t be possible. These funds allow Camp Quality to be there for kids at every stage of their cancer experience: in hospital, at home, at school and away from it all.”
Bill Roffey, SES Coffs Harbour’s Local Controller, is very thankful for the kind donation from Village Sports and said the support that the unit receives is quite magnificent.
“The donation will be put towards the purchase of specialist equipment members require in filling the unit’s rescue role.”
Village Sports events have grown significantly in size and status since they were established six years ago. Destination NSW recognised the Running Festival as a Regional Flagship Event in 2014, 2015 and 2016. The bcu Coffs Tri has also received the Flagship Event Funding for the last three years. The funding is a credit to the organisers and allows the events to be promoted outside the region, to attract more visitors to the Coffs Coast.
The events continue to attract athletes at the top of their sports as both competitors and ambassadors, including Olympic and Commonwealth Games champions Steve Moneghetti, Brooke Hanson, Ryan Fisher, Michellie Jones and Celia Sullohern.
Event Director Sinclair Black said, “We are very passionate about delivering professionally run, yet fun and friendly events for the community. We are just as excited to see a young child or 60-year-old doing their first triathlon, as we are to see a professional athlete push themselves to the limit.”
Village Sports aims to grow its events at the grassroots level and in 2016, introduced a Schools Challenge to both the Running Festival and Triathlon to encourage participation from school students. It has proved very popular and successful, with a total of $15,000 awarded to local schools to spend on sporting equipment.
“The funds have gone a long way in assisting the schools to purchase much-needed equipment to keep the kids healthy and active in the playground,” said Sinclair.
The bcu Coffs Tri on 2nd – 3rd March is the next event on the Village Sports calendar. The event offers races for children and novices on the Saturday and the headline Standard (Olympic) Distance race for individuals and teams on the Sunday. The Coffs TRI showcases all that Coffs has to offer, with a protected harbour swim, cycle on closed roads and a run that incorporates the Jetty, harbour foreshores and the southern breakwall.
Now, in its seventh year, the event is a World Qualifying Event, as well as the NSW State Championships, and is open to all levels of experience.
For more information about Village Sports events and to enter the upcoming bcu Coffs TRI, go to: villagesports.com.au