Star power on menu for Bundy
DRINAN PARK will again play host to the lucrative Bundaberg Tennis International and plans are in place to lure an international lawn bowls tri series to town involving Sri Lanka before this year’s Commonwealth Games.
Bundaberg Regional Council (BRC) are keen to cash in on the recent trend for regional areas to host international sporting events and have enlisted the help of specialist event company Complete Sports Group (CSG).
CSG was integral in securing May’s international tennis tournament that featured rising stars Olivia Rogowska and Jess Moore.
Drinan Park’s clay courts will see action in May, but BRC sport and recreation officer Dave Field has set bigger goals for 2010.
“It’s getting more difficult in metropolitan areas because it might take 50 minutes to drive between venues and it’s a great branding opportunity for companies to reach a regional audience,” Field said.
The BRC have introduced a strategy to draw more events to the region, acknowledging the vast economic and social benefits that would follow.
“Athletes have been found to spend $124 per day on average, so that’s quite a significant injection into the region,” he said.
In fact $18.3m was the overall injection from the cultural and recreational sector in 2009.
Bundaberg’s centrality makes it a hot spot for events, but the current itinerary is emptier than the BRC desires.
“We’re looking into hosting cricket events plus we have brilliant hockey, swimming, football and surf life saving facilities,” BRC Mayor Lorraine Pyefinch said.
Already Bundaberg will host the Australian Country Cricket Championships in 2013, a 15-day carnival that will feature either an international touring team or the Queensland Bulls alongside the best players from regional Australia.
The rugby league program is chock-full already this season with a revamped 47th Battalion competition being hosted at Salter Oval, while Bundaberg lawn bowls clubs are petitioning to host the Queensland district side’s tournament as well.
“There is plenty of opportunity and that’s why we’re working with CSG, because they can determine what capacity and capability our facilities and infrastructure have,” Field said.