Matt Bowker

Matt Bowker stands to the right of a rusty cast iron sign with the word Kangaroobie cut out on it. Her is wearing a grey hat, navy button up shirt and khaki shorts.

Matt Bowker, volunteer, Kangaroobie Klassic, Princetown Institute of Sport

Touted “the jewel in the crown of the Princetown East racing calendar”, the Kangaroobie Klassic now wears the honour as “the event that covid couldn’t kill”.

With events cancelled nationwide through pandemic lockdowns, the 2020 and 2021 Klassics survived, sneaking in amid narrow windows of opportunity between lockdowns.

The 2021 Klassic was one of the biggest events in the event’s 14-year life.

“We managed not to get knocked by covid, timed it literally the day before lockdown in 2020 and found a window to run the event. There were lockdowns on either side,” says Matt Bowker among four volunteers who established the multi-sport adventure race.

The event is run by the Princetown Institute of Sport, comprising a committee of five fun-loving Princetown locals, delivering exercise, adventure and a whole lot of tongue-in-cheek humour.

“We set out to provide an opportunity for people to get involved in sport and exercise in an event that has wide appeal and would be accessible for everyone,” Matt reflects.

“You don’t have to be a super athlete to be involved and it’s also been set up as a team event. There’s a 1km swim, 16km mountain bike ride, 6km paddle and 6 km run. If you want to do one leg of the event you can do that.”

A fundraiser for the Timboon and District Healthcare Service, the Klassic attracts entrants Australia-wide all vying for the coveted engraved barbecue scraper utensil.

“We’ve had ex-world champions, elite athletes walk away with the barbecue utensil, there’s no prizemoney.”

Local businesses are encouraged to get involved too with quirky categories for business teams.

The Kangaroobie Klassic is held in March, attracting participants from all over Australia, which means the region’s tourism, accommodation and hospitality sector benefit.

The committee of five volunteers expands to about 40 volunteers to run the event.

Matt says new volunteers are always needed. More information is available at

Matt is also an active member of the Port Campbell Surf Life Saving Club, the Princetown Fire Brigade and Princetown Landcare.