John Best: Safety of Ironman athletes addressed

2018-02-07 06:00

THE safety of international and local participants in the Standard Bank Ironman African Championships and the 2018 Ironman 70.3 World Championships in September is paramount with proactive safety measures established since last year.

Member of the Mayoral Committee (MMC) for Safety and Security Councillor John Best gave this assurance as excitement mounts ahead of these showpiece events.

“We are determined to make sure that the only drama before and on race days will be the excitement on the course and that the safety of the participants, their families, friends and spectators is not compromised,” he continued.

“We instituted extraordinary measures to avoid incidents by deciding on a plan of action and having a number of meetings with clubs representing cyclists and Ironman South Africa to inform them of our patrol times and routes.

“Patrols are conducted by the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Metro Police, Traffic Law Enforcement, South African Police Service and a number of private security operatives. The municipality is also looking at innovative public private partnerships to involve not just community structures but residents along the routes when hosting the events,” MMC Best said.

The safety and security for the Standard Bank Ironman African Championships in April and the crown jewel on September 1 and 2 include the following:

. High visibility of officers at tourist attractions

. Continuous daily law enforcement

. Foot patrols

. Bicycle patrols

. Continuous closed-circuit television (CCTV) monitoring and fast and appropriate response to deal with potential threats

. Enforcement of municipal by-laws

. Traffic law enforcement

. Crime prevention

. Strict enforcement of alcohol-free zones as part of NMB’s zero tolerance of alcohol abuse at public amenities

. Tourist ambassadors to assist members of the public with tourism and race information, as well as being the eyes and ears of law enforcement agencies.

“Athletes and visitors alike are welcome to come and enjoy our excellent facilities as we put our reputations on the line to work towards two world-class events. Come and enjoy our rich wildlife and cultural tapestry,” MMC Best concluded.

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