Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Distressing Email from Sam Gardner - Xterra Champion

Received this in the mail today and i feel very sad to read it.

We all know Xterra 2010 was cancelled at the 11th hour and it has put a lot of people preparing for the race in a limbo.

While i've helped out with the race last year and it was a big success - being part of a working team that has sorted out the swim, bike and run route. I am not involved this year due to some circumstances i rather not reveal, but enough said as my mum always tell me if i got nothing better to say, i should just STFU.

I met Sam Gardner, World Xterra Champ during the race, amongst many other Pros. They are just like all of us and the only differences is that they race for a living.

I am so sorry to read and hear about this Sam, i just hope the organiser for 2010 Xterra Malaysia will own up. This is bad publicity as myself and the team last year has worked so hard to ensure a memorable experience for everyone.

Here is Sam's email (in bold italic)

From: sam gardner
Date: Tue, 29 Jun 2010 19:39:22 +0800
Subject: Xterra Malaysia triathlon owes pro athletes $1000's

Please feel free to forward to anyone in triathlon community in Malaysia.

I am a pro triathlete from the UK. I was very excited to be racing in 2010 Xterra Malaysia. As is customary in these races some of the pro's get some of their expenses paid. The organisers of this race agreed to US$1000 towards my flights and also provide me with accomodation, in return I agreed to give a talk on race preparation to all athletes and provide the media unlimited access for quotes, photos etc. I spent US$2000 on plane tickets for myself and my fiance (who was very excited to be travelling to Malaysia for a pre wedding honeymoon, and had made loads of plans). Even 6 weeks before the race I was not given any indication it might be cancelled, until the 4th May when I received this email.
Dear PROs,

Get a new e-mail account with Hotmail Free. Sign-up now.

Due to cautious market and economic situations in Malaysia, World Action Sports is not able to organize this years edition of Xterra Malaysia 2010,.

For those of you who have incurred out of pocket expenses ie : flight bookings we would appreciate if you could furnish us with your fully paid up receipts to process cancellation fees incurred (if any) deadline for receipt submission is 10th May

We are looking at full reimbursements of all out of pocket expenses by the 20th of May 2010.

We have been equally challenged in making this decision, as we do not want to compromise Xterra s brand nor World Action Sports in putting on an event that is not up to expectations

Inconveniences caused are much regretted.

Yours sincerely
Management of XTERRA Malaysia

I was very disappointed not to be travelling to Malaysia as I enjoyed the trip and met some great friends in 2009 when i competed. However I changed my racing plans, to race elsewhere in Europe, much to the disapointment of my fiance! At least I won't lose any money I thought, and I'll support the organisers in their bid to put on the race in 2011.

Now I find that other pro's haven't been paid their expenses either and the organisers are not making any effort to refund anyone.

The only way the triathlon comunity can avoid these con artists is to boycot their races and their other business ventures.

The organisers are Amnesty Ding, Tengku Zafrul, Nazri Rahim and Nadia Amran.

I have emailed all of them many times and sent messages via facebook and no one will repsond, so i don't know exactly which one of these individuals is responsible.

If anyone knows them personally and find out where my expenses are, or who is responsible I'd love to know.

Otherwise I urge you to be wary of any event organised by the group calling themselves 'World Action Sports' because they may well not go ahead and if they cancel, you certainly won't get any form of refund.

Yours in sport. Sam Gardner


  1. Truly, I have to agree, this is bad.

  2. This is not just bad, its daylight robbery !! i was very disappointed when it was emailed to me.
    I could not get a spot when it started last year but anxiously this year will be worth trying it out. Many were caught by surprise. I can understand what sam gardner has went through and i would have felt the same way he does. I wish things were coordinated much earlier.
    Coordinated meaning we need people with the right attitude in organizing big sports events and
    not just organizing for the sake of getting popularity.

    to the organizers you guys screwed up dude..Big Time excuse for that...cheers homie...

  3. Kakak Babe - i rest my case!

    Rashid - sedih!

    Anon - thanks for the long comments and i am sorry that your training has gone to waste. I had wanted to take part too this year after not being able to do so last year (though i helped set the route and went over it many many times ;-))

  4. same case like 70.3 putrajaya last year. They pospond few days before the real event. some of my pro frens spend almost 10k for flight ticket.

  5. Anon - yeap, we know that last year's 70.3 was done in a shamble, infact, they were telling eveyrone overseas that the reason for the postponement was because of some pandemic (H1N1) sad.

  6. A very bad publicity for Malaysia :(

    Triathlon event is already very sparse with local and overseas participations. With a bad organizer like this, it will kill the sport in no time. My kids will grow without any chance to race triathlon locally :(


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