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Athletes tell Sunrise Events: Be ‘humane,’ show ‘compassion’

By: Dennison Rey A. Dalupang - Philippine Daily Inquirer | June 25,2020 - 06:45 AM

Two more groups are seeking a refund of registration fees for the postponed Ironman Philippines race in Subic, with one of the groups appealing to the “humanitarian” side of organizers Sunrise Events Inc. (SEI).

The calls came after SEI general manager Princess Galura told the Inquirer that it was “abiding by the rules” and would not offer refunds for the Subic race, which was moved from early this month to October due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“A refund would be a humane gesture [on the] side [of race organizers],” Rolando Seprado, a spokesperson for Filipino International Triathletes (FIT) Club, said on Wednesday. “Sunrise [should] consider a humanitarian resolution.”

FIT Club has around 35 members who come from Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The other group, which has 20 members, is from Mindanao.

Over 300 participants from five triathlon groups have requested a refund from Sunrise Events, with one earlier telling the Inquirer that the money could be used for “more urgent and pressing matters” related to the pandemic. The groups said participants paid around P35,000 each to register for the race.

But Sunrise Events has said that it won’t refund the money, which could amount to at least P10.5 million.

“As part of a bigger group, we have to follow rules,” Galura told the Inquirer on Monday, June 22, 2020.

“We can’t veer away since it’s all the same [around the world],” Galura added in Filipino. “It has been written in the [participant] waiver that whether it’s act of God, a war or a change in weather condition, that it won’t be possible to refund the registration fee.”

But the participants are counting on the “compassion” of Sunrise Events to consider the refund as help to those affected by the health crisis.

“All over the world, big races have opted to refund [fees] out of compassion [for] their athletes,” a spokesperson for the Mindanao group told the Inquirer late Tuesday night.

On Feb. 18, Xterra announced that it would give full refunds for its canceled event scheduled on March 28. Earlier this month, its president, Janet Clark, went on to cancel two more events scheduled for November and December.

“[It] will be the best option to alleviate [our financial problems],” Seprado said.

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