WE all know Staffordshire is a great place to live, work and visit because that’s why we all live here, and now we’re also fast becoming a key destination for great sports and leisure activities.
I can say this as we've just announced that next year we will be hosting the world famous Ironman competition, right here in the heart of England.
Not for the faint-hearted, but great for Staffordshire and our local businesses as we will be welcoming thousands of athletes, their friends and families and spectators who will be visiting and staying in the county during the event.
And if you’re up for it, you could join contestants in a 1.2 mile swim at Chasewater, a 56 mile cycle race taking in Lichfield, Burton and Cannock chase, and a 13.1 mile run at Shugborough. If that all sounds too much for you, remember we are always happy to see families keeping fit and healthy by taking in a few miles walking or cycling on our cycleways.
Sporting events like Ironman are inspirational and give people that extra bit of encouragement to get out and about and try something different.
Attracting such a high profile event like this is a real coup for Staffordshire, and will give a further boost to our already booming £1.6bn tourist economy. As we all know Staffordshire has lots of great places to visit and things to do, and hosting the event gives us the perfect opportunity to showcase to the rest of the world what our great county of Staffordshire has to offer for both inward investment and visitors.
The icing on the cake would be for us to be able to crown our own Staffordshire Ironman winner, so get your applications in for the competition next June. You have 12 months to train!