Big­ger and bet­ter sport­ing events af­ter Tour suc­cess

Llanelli Star - - Letters - Richard Youle @YoulePost 01792 545553 [email protected]­di­

BIG­GER and bet­ter sport­ing events could be com­ing to Car­marthen­shire fol­low­ing the suc­cess of the Tour of Bri­tain cy­cle race, a coun­cil di­rec­tor has said.

Jake Mor­gan said one of the ben­e­fits of the county host­ing the pro race on Septem­ber 2 was that he had meet­ings lined up with the Welsh Gov­ern­ment’s ma­jor event unit about fu­ture ac­tiv­i­ties.

He told full coun­cil: “Cy­cling is prob­a­bly the one sport I feel we have a world-class venue.

“We can com­pete with ab­so­lutely any­where in the world, in terms of gal­vanis­ing our com­mu­ni­ties and some­where where cy­clists want to cy­cle.”

The day of ac­tion in­volv­ing Tour de France win­ner Geraint Thomas, among oth­ers, is es­ti­mated to have brought £800,000 to the Car­marthen­shire econ­omy.

Coun­cil­lors heard that the knock-on ef­fect of race tele­vi­sion cov­er­age on ITV4 and Eurosport was worth £250,000-plus in free ad­ver­tis­ing.

Mr Mor­gan, di­rec­tor of com­mu­nity ser­vices, said: “The day went un­be­liev­ably smoothly. It was real ‘team Car­marthen­shire,’ right from the vol­un­teers, our com­mu­ni­ca­tions team, high­ways depart­ment and sports devel­op­ment team.

“I have never seen Kid­welly like it, up through Llan­dovery - packed out, and com­mu­nity events go­ing on through the day. It made me re­ally proud.”

He added: “It was more than a bike race. Our in­ten­tion is that this will be the first of a num­ber of events.”

The coun­cil wants to po­si­tion it­self as the cy­cling hub of Wales, and is keen for the pub­lic to get on two wheels more and more for health and well­be­ing rea­sons.

The au­thor­ity an­tic­i­pated a £4 mil­lion boost across South Wales from the race, which set off from Pem­brey Coun­try Park, over the next 12 months.

Coun­cil leader Em­lyn Dole said: “We hope to be feel­ing the ben­e­fits of the Tour of Bri­tain for years to come, and it is so en­cour­ag­ing to hear that it has al­ready put around £800,000 into the pock­ets of lo­cal peo­ple and busi­nesses.

“When you con­sider this was achieved in one 48-hour pe­riod, and com­pare it to the 12-month pro­jec­tion of £4 mil­lion for the whole of South Wales, we can start to see a clear pic­ture of the pos­i­tive im­pact this will have on Car­marthen­shire.

“But, as was men­tioned in coun­cil, this is more than just a bike ride - this has left a legacy for Car­marthen­shire in more ways than one.”

Mr Mor­gan added: “I am re­ally con­fi­dent we will get many more times that (£800,000) in the weeks, months and years to come.”

Find out more on­line at... waleson­

Pic­ture: David Davies

OVO En­ergy Tour of Bri­tain riders tackle Beth­le­hem Hill dur­ing stage one ear­lier this month.

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