Dear Mr Jenkins,
As four-time World Ironman Champion, this letter is in response to your 17 September ‘Evening Standard’ article regarding the ITU World Championship event, held in London on 11-15 September.
My response is structured around your main assertions and comments, as highlighted below:
“I am all for London serving as an occasional venue for such public events”.
It would be useful for the reader, politicians and sports’ governing bodies if you could elaborate on the criteria that would, in your view, make for a worthwhile public event.
The Notting Hill Carnival is held annually, affecting West London communities – yet is also rightly valued as a cultural celebration that is of immense social and economic importance. Equally, the annual Wimbledon tennis championship takes place over two weeks – with the Men’s and Women’s finals being held on separate days – and causes traffic congestion for those living in South West London but is, again, hugely important as a sporting spectacle, and an economic and social win for the majority. Football matches cause inconvenience for some local residents on a weekly basis. The annual London Marathon results in closed roads and diversions, but it’s an amazing spectacle and one of which London can be rightly proud. We need these public sporting events to normalise physical activity, enable local people to watch it live and facilitate participation.
The ITU World Championships formed part of UK Sport’s Gold Event Series …