Kirstin Nicholson, The Koondrook and Barham Bridge Newspaper
Organisers of Sunday’s AWMA Water Control Solutions 28th Cohuna Bridge to Bridge are thrilled with the day. Cooler weather presented ideal conditions for entrants who competed in seven running and cycling events from as early as 8am.
Close to 400 people registered for the day, helping to raise funds for the theatre and recovery refurbishment project at Cohuna District Hospital. Around 16 entrants who signed up to the virtual version will complete their event over the next two weeks, with some already sending in proof of their participation.
Entrants travelled from across Victoria and New South Wales to participate, with many staying overnight and injecting cash into local businesses. With events catering for all ages and abilities, participants ranged from serious runners and cyclists to those out for a leisurely Sunday walk, with many ex-locals returning for the event.
Event Director, Jess Holgate, said, “It was fantastic, absolutely fantastic. We got a lot of feedback that it was the best one yet. I think the atmosphere with the live music and in the event village was great, we’re really getting the mix right now. It’s taken our new team a couple of years to tweak it each year. This year we really hit the nail on the head, and we’ll just keep moving on from there.”
Those waiting for family and friends to finish their events were well catered for at the event village in Apex Park with live music, face painting, stall holders and plenty of food options. Northern District Community Health provided the live music which provided everyone with a relaxed atmosphere.
COVID-19 caused some angst leading up to the event, with the committee not sure whether it would go ahead, especially with the snap lockdown just weeks before. Jess explained, “I think it impacted us prior to the event because we were up and down whether we were going to go ahead or go to a virtual event. The snap lockdown scared us a bit, so it was still up in the air and we thought, no, we’re going to go for it and put it all into play. If you build it, they will come. We put it on, and they came in droves. In the last couple of weeks, the numbers shot through the roof. They were still booking in the day before.”
The committee implemented extra measures to ensure the event was COVIDSafe, with hand sanitising stations and QR codes spread around the precinct, social distancing encouraged, and bus travellers asked to wear face masks. Registrations were all online to minimise the handling of cash and paper, a process that was embraced by entrants this year. “Everyone is used to it, it’s part of life now,” Jess said.
Presentations were made throughout the day, and a full list of results can be accessed at the event’s website.
The committee thanks the sponsors, vendors, the CFA and all the volunteers for making the day a success, and of course everyone who entered the events. Final fundraising figures will be known in the coming weeks. “I can’t wait to hear how much we’ve raised this year,” said Jess.
This article appeared in The Koondrook and Braham Bridge Newsletter, 18 March 2021.