Festival organisers kick 2014 event into gear

Even before the first Rotorua Bike Festival has begun, organisers are over the moon funding has already been confirmed for the next festival in 2014.

The inaugural Rotorua Bike Festival starts tomorrow with a mountainbike skills ride, the North Island Bike Polo Tournament and the World Shweeb Champs at Agroventures. The festival runs until Sunday February 17.

Events and Venues manager Martin Croft said it was great news to hear the festival had already got the green light for 2014.

"This week we got confirmation that the Rotorua Energy Charitable Trust will continue their support of the festival."

The trust is a major supporter of the first festival and has also backed some of the biggest cycling events in Rotorua over the past decade.

Trust chairman Grahame Hall said the trust wanted to support quality community events, particularly where local athletes can compete with top national and international competitors on the world stage.

"Rotorua has some of the best mountain biking trails in the Southern Hemisphere and a reputation and proven history of organising and staging cycling events on an international scale." The Rotorua Trust was also a key supporter of the 2006 UCI Mountain Bike & Trials World Championships and the 2010 Singlespeed World Championships.

"The 2013 Bike Festival will further enhance our city's reputation as part of the New Zealand Centre of Excellence for Cycling and encourage the growth of the sport in our region," he said.

The Rotorua District Council has matched the trust's contribution which has allowed festival organisers to start planning for 2014. Rotorua Mayor Kevin Winters said cycling was an important part of the health of the community.

"It is also a very big part of the local economy.

"With the wonderful trails in the Whakarewarewa Forest, the new National Cycleway section - Te Ara Ahi - lots of annual events and now the festival, it's a pretty big earner," he said.

For everything you need to know about the festival visit www.rotoruabikefestival.com.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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