By World Triathlon Admin on 11/01/05 at 12:00 am

The past weeks and the aftermath of the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Asia has impacted all of us and changed our world forever. Our first concern was to ensure the safety of our Triathlon family in Thailand, India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Indonesia. One of the hardest hit areas has a lot of history with ITU - Chennai, India which has hosted Asian Championship events, an Olympic Solidarity Training Camp and many Indian National Triathlons. Rami Ramachandran (photo-opposite), President of the Indian Triathlon Federation and former ITU Executive Board member, reported that all of their family and members of their federation are safe.

Vijitr Sattinawin, President of the Thailand Triathlon Federation, was out of the country at the time the tsunami hit, but was, of course, devasted by the impact on the people of his country. Phuket, a popular triathlon venue, was one of the hardest hit areas.

The outpouring of support from around the world has been a testiment to how this natural disaster has affected all of us. In Canada, where hundreds of thousands of families have relatives in the affected region, the support has now reached 100 million dollars with the government pledging to match dollar for dollar the amount the Canadian people donate.

In the long term, ITU Sport Development, the new branch of ITU being established as an outcome of the Road to Bejing Strategic Plan, will work with ITU Regional Representative Tom Carassco and the coaches in Asia, such as Brett Mace in India, to support the re-development of the sport in those areas most affected.