Fitting farewell for events king
HUMBLE yet steadfastly dedicated, Garth Prowd OAM is remembered for many things. The man renowned as multisport events royalty on the Sunshine Coast has been laid to rest, but his influence will remain.
A large crowd gathered on August 18 for a special memorial service honouring Garth at Noosa Woods, where some of Australia’s greatest sporting stars delivered heartfelt tributes.
Gold medal-winning triathlete Emma Frodeno (nee Snowsill), marathon running legend Steve Moneghetti and Noosa triathlon hall of famer Emma Carney were among those who spoke about the man hailed as mentor, innovator, leader, friend and, most of all, a doting father and husband.
“He was a mentor, a friend ... he always pointed me in the right direction. He taught me so many values and maintaining those outside of business,” Emma Frodeno said.
“This sport has given me everything I know about living life, an amazing life. Garth has been a fantastic role model.
“I dedicate my greatest achievement in this sport to him.”
Steve Moneghetti paid tribute to Garth’s belief and dedication. The 5km Noosa Bolt, staged as part of the Noosa Multisport Festival, remains Australia’s most prestigious over that distance.
“It was like he had a body double. He achieved so much and he would give you 100% of his attention,” Steve said.
“Garth, I don’t know what you’re doing up there. I think of you on that scooter revving the guts out of it. Note to God: don’t argue, let him organise it.”
Garth had humble beginnings. He started his working life selling Fords, an interesting choice given he was about to marry into the Madills family which had the nearby Holden dealership, before going on to work as advertising manager for the Noosa News, and partner in a signwriting business before becoming a triathlete and eventually launching USM Events and taking over Noosa Triathlon.
After selling USM to Ironman in 2012, which had more than 50 events at the time and attracted more than 200,000 participants annually, he was a highly respected events consultant.
Brother-in-law Garth Madill said Garth brought people together.
“He was the leader who really made things happen,” he said.
“His network of friends, leaders in the industries was enormous. There would be a lot of people all over the world feeling his loss.
“Through all this he didn’t lose sight of his family or friends. He didn’t get himself up on a pedestal. He took life as it comes.”
Garth, who was awarded an Order of Australia, died surrounded by wife Robyn, daughters Sally, Megan, Katie and son-in-laws Matt and Ben on July 30, aged 65, following a cycling training accident.
Emma Frodeno (nee Snowsill) at Garth Prowd's special memorial service at Noosa Woods.
USM founder Garth Prowd OAM.
Steve Moneghetti and Emma Carney pay tribute to Garth Prowd's family at the special memorial service at Noosa Woods.
A large crowd pays tribute to Garth Prowd.