Murray Marathon to continue beyond 2008
Red Cross has announced that the YMCA will take over the iconic Aussie canoe adventure, the Murray River Marathon.
Red Cross announced in July that it would be ending its association with the Murray River Marathon following this year’s 40th anniversary event scheduled to begin on Boxing Day. Today an announcement has been made that YMCA Victoria will officially take over the coordination of the event post 1 January 2009.
Red Cross Executive Director Victorian Division, Andrew Hilton, said Red Cross was pleased that the YMCA will take on the event.
“I am sure that the Murray River Marathon tradition will continue under the coordination of the YMCA,” Mr Hilton said.
“The marathon has had a long and successful history as an event that brings school groups, families and friends together not just from across the state, but from across the country and often across the world. It’s also an important event for local communities and businesses situated along the river.
“The Murray Marathon Committee has worked very hard for 40 years to make the event world famous.
“The decision to cease our association with the marathon was a very difficult one for the organisation to make, so to know that the event will continue on into the future is a great result for all involved.
“We look forward to working with the YMCA during the transition period to ensure the Murray River Marathon continues to provide a memorable challenge for participants and supporters,” Mr Hilton said.
YMCA Victoria CEO, Peter Burns said today that the YMCA, an organisation committed to building strong people, strong families and strong communities and which shares the same founder as Red Cross – Swiss man Henry Dunant – was honoured to take over the event’s reins.
“The Murray River Marathon contributes significantly to rural and regional communities and we certainly believe that we can play a role in supporting and expanding this iconic event that fosters participation in an active and engaged lifestyle,” he said.
In the meantime, Red Cross continues to gear up for its biggest event in the history of the marathon with paddler registrations already well up on numbers recorded at the same time in previous years.
“We have made every attempt to make this year’s event a memorable and special occasion for all. We said we wanted to make the 40th a celebration and that will definitely be the case now that we are also celebrating a new era for a great Aussie tradition,” Mr Hilton said.
Media information: For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Shona Eland, YMCA Community Relations Manager on 03 9403 5055 or 0400 179 369, or Jacqui Pringle, Red Cross Senior Marketing and Communications Officer on 03 8327 7757 or 0448 571 484.