Sir Tim Shadbolts strained relationship with his deputy mayor may bizarrely end up being battled out on the athletics track.
Shadbolts performance as Invercargills mayor has come under the spotlight in recent years which included an independent report suggesting Shadbolt was struggling to fulfill his duties and as a result there was a leadership void at the council.
Shadbolt has been forced to answer questions about his health throughout the process. This week he revealed he had been diagnosed with muscle tension dysphonia, a common voice disorder.
However, he has disputed any suggestion his health was affecting his ability to do his job.
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Invercargill deputy mayor Nobby Clark, left, and Mayor Sir Tim Shadbolt at an Invercargill City Council meeting.
He continues to point to a challenge that he has laid down to some of his fellow councillors to help prove his health.
There is four of us over 70 on the council and I reckon over a 100-yard sprint and a 50m swim Id give them all a run for their money, Shadbolt told Stuff last year.
Shadbolt doubled down on those comments this week when again speaking about his health status.
I challenged the councillors when this [my health] was raised. Maybe 70 to a 100-metre sprint, a 30m swim, and well see who comes out the fittest, he said.
It prompted his deputy mayor Nobby Clark to send Shadbolt an email on Friday morning agreeing to the challenge, although.
I propose that we utilize the wonderful city facilities of Queens Park, Splash Palace, and the Stadium, Clark said.
Clark suggested a one-lap run around the Surrey Park athletics track, a bike ride through Queens Park and two lengths swim at the Splash Palace.
I think we should do it on a Saturday, so the public can come down and have a bit of a laugh at us, Clark said.
At the very least the unique mayor-deputy showdown would help shine the light on Invercargill and the facilities that are available in the city to allow people to remain active, Clark said.
He proposed to use the event as a fundraiser for the Southland Charity Hospital.
Invercargill deputy mayor Nobby Clark has accepted Mayor Sir Tim Shadbolt’s challenge to a run, bike, and swim.
Clark turns 70 this year while Shadbolt is 74.
Given there was a limited enough age gap Clark felt that there should be no need for any handicap scratch starts.
The deputy mayor said he had had his own health issues which included having one kidney after donating a kidney anonymously 17 years ago, a permanent leg disability, as well as a throat issue.
So Im on par with Caeser, Clark said.
In the email titled the challenge to Caeser Clark asked Shadbolt to confirm what date suits him best for the challenge.
Shadbolt responded to Clark on Friday afternoon via an email titled Step it Up, Brutus.
He told Clark his idea doesnt quite cut it and might not be a good look for Invercargill.
Would a decathlon not be more fitting to showcase the city? Add on a few rounds of boxing at the Stadium, a few hoops of Bball centrecourt, throw in a bit of long jump at the Athletics Stadium, some batting on the new softball diamonds at Surrey Park, and some rowing on the Oreti River. Maybe leave out the javelin though – it could turn a bit nasty.
I’m reliably told that old people undertaking a test of physical endurance against each other isn’t a stunning display of physicality and could possibly do more reputational damage to the city than the Thomson report.
Shadbolt labelled Clark Brutus recently after he told media that Shadbolt should front up about his suspended license.
The relationship between Shadbolt and Clark has now become strained and the pair have very little contact now, Clark said.
Clark replied to Shadbolt’s email on Friday saying he remained keen on the fitness challenge, so bring it on.
He told Shadbolt he’d be out training on Saturday and Sunday.