Freeport, The Bahamas – In November 2019, the Conchman Triathlon marked its 33rd year of friendly but fierce triathlete competition on Grand Bahama Island. Though set against the backdrop of an island ravaged by Hurricane Dorian, the 2019 triathlon attracted more than 50 triathletes from around the world – competing in categories ranging from Sprint, Team Relay, Iron Kids, and individual competition.
Over its 30 year history on Grand Bahama, the Conchman committee has worked to encourage healthy living and physical activity for men, women, and children of all ages. From attracting word-class triathletes like the renowned Hector Picard to its partnership with organizations like the Governor-General Youth Award – the committee members work tirelessly to make the annual event a highlight of the island’s social and athletic calendar. With the largest storm hitting Grand Bahama just before their annual race, the committee and athletes have extended their efforts to assist in the rebuilding of the island.
“In the aftermath of hurricane Dorian, we were so pleased that many of our triathletes made such huge efforts to compete and to support our annual event, despite the challenges to get here” noted Conchman Chairman, Christopher Baker. “Many contestants also made considerable donations towards disaster relief. We were overwhelmed with their generosity, and so we added a donations page on our website which combined, raised $15,000 for the island.”
“For residents in the east, Dorian was catastrophic,” explained Conchman Committee member Kenton Roker. “We really wanted to do our part, and it was agreed by the Committee that a lot of help was being given in Freeport but there was still much need in the East, and in particular McLean’s Town.”
To improve the effectiveness of the program, officials were able to partner with the Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA) who agreed to supplement donations received so that even more homes can be restored. “The support of the GBPA has been invaluable,” said Baker. “They have always been supporters of the Conchman Triathlon and now because of them, we are able to do even more for impacted Grand Bahamians.”
“In addition to this” added Baker, “ we were determined to also help the local economy and the committee chose to shop locally, turning to Kellys to purchase building supplies as well as hiring locals to help with the repairs.”
The Conchman race is slated for November 7, 2020, and interested persons may register by visiting the Conchman website at https://www.conchmantriathlon.com, or social media links. Baker also added that “despite the current global health crisis we are looking toward the future with hope. Once conditions improve, we will get back to work and we will be ready in November to welcome a new crop of triathlete’s to the island.”