Nelson Mandela Bay Executive Mayor, Athol Trollip said today: On behalf of the citizens of Nelson Mandela Bay and the leadership of the Municipality I would like to wish all the Bay triathletes taking part at the full Ironman World Championship in Kona Hawaii all of the best. The Ironman is a daunting physical and mental challenge to overcome but earning an opportunity to race the best of the best athletes in the world must fill one with a sense of pride and accomplishment.
Many of the Bay triathletes will be there for causes that are bigger than themselves. Some are there to test their athletic boundaries and pursue personal bests. In an amongst them are a few who are at the sharp end of the field, those who have gone to Kona to win it. It gives me great pride to acknowledge the son of Nelson Mandela Bay who goes into this event ranked at 8th position in the world. Kyle Buckingham is not only a proud citizen of the Bay, he is an active campaigner for Nelson Mandela Bay as an ideal sport training and events destination. Kyle is a proud athlete ambassador for the City as we prepare to host the half distance version of Kona, the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in September 2018.
With Kyle is another South African, an Iron man who spent his early days at our local Nelson Mandela Univesity and later joined the local Ironman South Africa team in putting together some of the memorable Ironman events we have hosted. James Cunamma considers himself as an adopted son of Nelson Mandela Bay and that is why he too is representing Nelson Mandela Bay as an ambassador for the City’s 2018 innitiative. We wish Kyle Buckingham and James Cunnama and their fellow age group counterparts the very best as they tackle the challenging conditions of the island of Kona and the battle with fellow competitors. We trust that you will spread the good news and the amazing offer that awaits those athletes when they make their way to the Bay in 2018.
In closing, as the curtain comes down in Kona in the next few days, the spotlight will shift to Nelson Mandela Bay as the next destination for an Ironman World Championship. A world class event as driven by world class standards in service, infrastracture, hospitatlity and richness of the local arts and heritage. I challenge the people of Nelson Mandela Bay to rise to the challenge to host and deliver a world class event for world class longer lasting benefits that are surely to be enjoyed by all of us for gernerations to come after having hosted next years World Championship. This issue transcends politics, lets get back to building a great city fitting of our name sake – Tata Nelson Mandela.