The race is on to keep an iconic sporting event in Blacktown viable.
Labor councillors hit an obstacle at last week’s meeting when they lost a rescission motion in response to council’s plans to not continue its support for the M7 Cities Marathon.
It meant they couldn’t present a motion proposing sponsorship and contributions for the event be sought from other councils, state and federal government and private sector and to report back to council next year to then decide whether to continue its association.
Councillor Stephen Bali had the figures to prove it was the second most popular marathon in NSW participation wise
Councillor Edmond Atalla was astonished council doesn’t want to support the marathon.
‘‘We’re the largest council in NSW and home to the 2000 Olympics,’’ he said.
‘‘This will take Blacktown back to the historical ages as a sporting centre.’’
Independent Councillor Russ Dickens said Labor’s ideas ‘‘had merit’’ and later called for a report to examine whether the marathon and Blacktown City Fun Run can be held on the same day.
The fun run currently coincides with Blacktown City Festival celebrations in May while the marathon is held in July.
The report is expected back at council before the end of the year.
Little Athletics western metropolitan zone coordinator Gordon Prevett has been involved with the marathon for more than 20 years and spoke at the meeting.
He believes consolidating the marathon and fun run into one day isn’t a a bad idea.
‘‘I would love the marathon to continue because there aren’t a lot of events that give Blacktown an international flavour like the marathon,’’ Mr Prevett said.
‘‘It gives people the opportunity to complete a marathon and is an event junior athletes can aspire for.’’
The Cities Marathon has been an annual event since 1981.
The original route was between Broadway and Francis Park, Blacktown.
It became the M7 Cities Marathon along the M7 from Prestons to Rooty Hill in 2006.