In search of boosting the economy of Turrialbeña, an initiative aims to turn the canton into the first sports city in Costa Rica. Along these lines, at least four events will monopolize the community’s agenda next March, with the expectation of receiving some 1,200 visitors in the first three weekends of that month, according to the promoter of the initiative, Roger Madrigal.
The first activity will take place on March 7 and consists of an open water swim in the Angostura lagoon, which recently received the go-ahead to host aquatic events. A week later, March 13, a trail – cross country – was scheduled and for the 14th a mountain biking competition. These three events are organized by the company Grupo Publicitario, which held a triathlon in Turrialba on January 22.
For the third weekend of the month, March 21, an aquathlon will be held. Unlike the other activities, this one will be organized by the MultiReto company. In addition, new cross-country competitions are planned for April 24 and 25.
With all the safety protocols
All these events will take place on the campus of the Tropical Agricultural Research and Teaching Center (Catie), which guarantees the control of the attendees to comply with the health protocols of the different disciplines, required within the framework of the national state of emergency due to the Coronavirus.
Attraction of athletes
Turrialba Ciudad Deportiva, according to its promoter, Roger Madrigal, aims to bring together runners, cyclists and athletes in general willing to train for a weekend in the community, while learning about the attractions of the canton and contributing to the economic activities that exist. The 1996 Atlanta Olympic kayaker assured that commercial and tourist chambers welcome the initiative.
In fact, the founder of the project explained that some of the hotels in the community have made their check-in and check-out times more flexible for their guests, while the restaurants have carried out promotions and included details such as desserts for their guests, as measures to make visitors feel welcome. He also indicated that there is a commitment to transmit protection and security to people, with efforts to eradicate street harassment and accidents to athletes.
“The goal is for people to come to Turrialba on every weekend and not just for the events. The events are a consequence of the project, because that allows us to make visible everything we have here in the canton. Because of course, the events are not held every weekend, but people do go out from different recreational activities and can come to Turrialba and stay in hotels and consume in shops,” Madrigal said.
The initiative, according to its promoter emerged in 2019 as an effort to reactivate the area’s economy. To do this, Madrigal searched for ideas and conducted a survey by consulting random telephone numbers with what they related to Turrialba. From the tabulation of the information, it was determined that the canton is related to its volcano, the Guayabo National Monument, cheese and sugar cane. This is how the founder of the project identified the need to generate a new attraction, to attract another type of visitor to the community.
Since then, he began conversations to know the criteria of national federations and associations on Turrialba Ciudad Deportiva, where he found a good reception and, on January 17, 2020, officially announced the launch of the initiative. However, two months later, the Government of the Republic declared a state of emergency due to the SARS-CoV-2 Virus, which stopped all massive public activities.
Faced with this situation, the project had to wait for the approval of sanitary guidelines for sports competitions, until on December 14 a trialton event was held at the Tropical Agricultural Research and Teaching Center that, according to Madrigal, generated the arrival of 160 competitors to the canton plus their companions and commercial activities for about $ 30,000 (about ¢ 18,358,449).