By Nyasha Mutena
All is set for the 14th edition of the Bonaqua Troutbeck African Triathlon Union (ATU) cup which will be held on Saturday 25 September, 2021 at Troutbeck Resort in Nyanga. In addition to local athletes, an international field of elite men and women has registered to compete in the ATU from countries such as Germany, Mauritius, Luxembourg, Ireland, and Czech Republic.
This year’s edition promises to be a thriller with stiff competition between participants who will be vying for 2024 Paris Olympic qualification points. In addition, the keenly contested third edition of the ATU Junior Triathlon African Cup will be staged at the same venue. It shall witness Zimbabwe hosting Junior Elite athletes from Egypt, Tunisia, Mauritius, Namibia and South Africa.
“As the Coca-Cola Company and our bottling partner, Schweppes Zimbabwe Limited, we are pleased to sponsor this event which has been of great value to the country and to the athletes. Triathlon has been a good model when it comes to promoting sports tourism.
In particular, we are delighted by the number of participants this year. We want to thank other corporates who also sponsor the Bonaqua Troutbeck African Triathlon Union such as Toyota, Bon Marche`, Cimas and Rooney’s. It is through such mutual interests and commitment to plough back to society that together we can develop our sports,” said Faith Nehanda, Coca-Cola Zimbabwe Frontline Marketing Portfolio Activation Manager.
“We shall continue to play our role of supporting sports initiatives. The high number of Zimbabwe junior triathletes is an indication that the future of Triathlon sport is bright. Some of them recently won medals in South Africa,” Nehanda added.
Apart from the elite and junior races, other supporting events on the day include an African Cross-Triathlon (Off-Road) Championship, Schweppes Corporate Triathlon Challenge, Zimbabwe Triathlon Championships over a number of events, Tri-Kidz and Trisports triathlon, Aquathlon (run-swim-run) and an Open Water Swim, all under the banner of the Bonaqua Troutbeck Multisport Festival.
This year marks the fifth anniversary for Bonaqua still water as the official title sponsor, although Coca-Cola has been previously involved with the sport with Schweppes water. Bonaqua Water is bottled by Schweppes Zimbabwe Limited.
Globally, Coca-Cola also sponsors the Olympics and the FIFA World Cup.
The Bonaqua Troutbeck ATU is sanctioned by the International Triathlon Union. It is a world ranking points for elite athletes within the ITU ranking system. This means that the points scored by elite athletes will ultimately become Olympic Ranking Qualification points for Paris 2024.
Troutbeck is well known as one of the world’s best resorts for sport tourism due to the availability of safe, clean, disease free water and good roads within a perfect terrain as well as a friendly climatic environment.