Council to field more big events

COUNCILLORS will meet with an events company tomorrow in an effort to attract millions of dollars to the region through major sporting tournaments.

Events such as last May’s Bundaberg Tennis International helped net $18.3 million in cultural and recreational tourism to the region last year, and Bundaberg Regional Council has put the call out to local businesses to help them push for more in 2010.

Mayor Lorraine Pyefinch said the council had developed a strategy in consultation with national sports and events company Complete Sports Group (CSG) to boost the number of major state and national sporting events to take place in the region.

“CSG is experienced in identifying the kinds of sports the Bundaberg region can accommodate,” she said.

Last year’s tennis tournament, which featured young guns Olivia Rogowska, Jess Moore, Anastasia Rodionova and Isabella Holland, was a direct result of the council’s partnership with the sports-specific company.

CSG director Rick Sleeman will meet with councillors and local business leaders tomorrow, educating them on their role in luring international sport to the region.

The increased pressure on metropolitan sports infrastructure and the need for sponsors to reach regional areas has led to a trend in more regional involvement in international sport.

“It’s something the council is very keen to do. The economic benefits to come from hosting high-profile sporting events are amazing and we’re keen to drive that market,” Cr Pyefinch said.

“Competitors bring their kids and families and spectators spend time enjoying the region.”

Cr Pyefinch said there was a great variety of accommodation available, but it was a matter of tailoring packages and deals to suit particular events.

“That is something we will be discussing tomorrow at the meeting — how businesses and accommodation need to adapt,” she said.

“Bundaberg has a great reputation as a sporting town and we are very excited to be involved and hopefully secure more top-level events this year.”

Council sport and recreation officer Dave Field said a 2010 Bundaberg Tennis International was all but secured, while there are plans to host a bowls tournament before the Commonwealth Games.

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