Decision made on Fling's future

2017 FLING WINNER: Peta Mullens crosses the finish line and becomes the first female rider to win three Highland Flings. Photo: Madeline Crittenden.

2017 FLING WINNER: Peta Mullens crosses the finish line and becomes the first female rider to win three Highland Flings. Photo: Madeline Crittenden.

The Highlands will farewell a long-standing mountain biking event this year, with the final Highland Fling to support charity.

Wild Horizons and Save the Children Australia announced the 13th edition of The Highland Fling would go ahead on November 12.

The last Highland Fling will aptly be named the Final Fling.

It will be a major fundraiser for Save the Children Australia which will raise funds for children and families in 24 countries around the world.

Speaking on behalf of Wild Horizons, Huw Kingston was very happy about the decision. “[The Fling] has put millions of dollars into the regional economy and offered a fundraising platform for numerous Southern Highlands community groups, the community in which we live,” he said. 

However, Mr Kingston said several factors prompted Wild Horizons to consider cancelling the 2017 event.

“We’d lost a couple of key sponsors for 2017 and had also had enough of the seemingly endless inefficiencies of our local council,” he said. “However, when we announced the event might not happen in 2017, the groundswell of support was huge. In a bit of a light bulb moment the solution appeared. Why not use the event as a fundraiser?”

So Wild Horizons partnered with Save the Children for the Final Fling. 

“Save the Children is an organisation I already have a very close relationship with, so that, in conjunction with our incredible organising team, the support of the mountain biking community and the local Southern Highlands community surely meant we should do at least one Final Fling,” Mr Kingston said. 

It’s a bittersweet event that comes with an extra dose of sad news for passionate supporters – while the Fling weekend grew to include the Bundy Run from 2015, the loss of a headline sponsor last year has meant the run will not go ahead.

The Bundy Run attracted a new outdoor audience and resulted in a solid increase in numbers. 

However, the sponsor’s move out of the running market and the lack of a replacement meant from a fundraising perspective, the event was no longer feasible.

Mr Kingston thanked the runners who had supported the Bundy Run during the past two years.

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