QUEANBEYAN identity Col Berry says he remains determined to push ahead with his Challenge of Champions sporting contest.
That’s despite the proposed statewide competition having twice failed to get off the ground due to a lack of nominations.
The Challenge, first envisaged by Berry back in 2007, would see Queanbeyan competing against rivals from across the state in a bid to answer the age old question; just which is NSW’s sportiest town?
Berry’s first attempt to get the concept up and running in 2009 met with failure after concerns the proposal was too big and too confusing.
After streamlining the process – primarily by reducing the number of sports involved from 14 to five – Berry had hoped a second attempt planned for later this month would prove more successful.
But organisers were recently forced to postpone the competition indefinitely for a second time a lacklustre response to the proposal.
“It was disappointing but there’s got to be a reason it didn’t get off the ground,” Berry said.
“We thought we’d worked out what was wrong with the idea after the first attempt in 2009 but once again we had a lot of encouraging feedback that never eventuated into anything.
“We can’t preclude the idea that the concept itself is a bad one but I’m still of the attitude that it’s a good idea.”
Berry maintains initial interest from sporting and media organisations in the concept was strong with clubs from “20-25” regional areas getting in contact to find out more information about the proposal.
But that interest diminished significantly once event organisers put out an official request for nominations with only one provisional entry lodged.
“We’ve got to be realistic about it of course,” Berry said. “If we find there are major reasons why the idea isn’t workable, then we can’t argue with that.
“But we may find it’s due to something as simple as a breakdown in communication. At the moment it’s only speculation. We might also have to accept the fact that advertising, expensive as it is, is something we’ve got to do.”
And Berry is clearly remaining philosophical in getting the project off the ground despite its most recent setback.
“It’s a bit like when [Thomas] Edison invented the electric light bulb and a journalist asked him what it was like to finally succeed after 2000 failures,” he said.
“And Edison replied that there hadn’t been any failures, there were just 2000 steps along the way to success.”
Berry, meanwhile, said organisers would be undertaking a “frank and candid” survey of sporting organisers and players from a number of country regions to determine the best path forward for the contest.