Orange City Council tourism manager Glenn Mickle believes the four-day Gymnastics NSW Country Championships has the potential to inject more than $1.8 million into the community.
Mr Mickle and council sports and recreation community committee chair Jason Hamling said yesterday that along with huge financial benefits, the event was an opportunity to showcase what the region has to offer.
“Numbers of competitors will vary over the four days as gymnasts and family come and go but with up to 850 in total for the week - in terms of direct benefits to the community it could be anticipated over $1.8 million in economic activity,” Mr Mickle said.
“For many of the people attending this event it may be their first visit to Orange. They will see Orange at a great time of the year, they will see and use great facilities and the experience of this weekend can have an impact on their travel and holiday choices in the future,” Mr Hamling added
“For those on their first trip here it allows them to see how accessible Orange is from places like Sydney, Wollongong and Newcastle. It also allows Orange to pitch its food, wine and natural beauty as a destination with something different.”
Mr Mickle said it was the second consecutive year Orange has secured these championships and council would continue to strive to attract more major sporting events to the city.
“Council has a program aimed squarely at achieving results like this - the major sporting event attraction program. This program was integral to securing an agreement with Gymnastics NSW to host this event,” he said.
“The major sporting event attraction program is ongoing and a number of discussions with other similar events are currently taking place.
And judging by some of the feedback received at yesterday’s opening day of the championships, that could be a distinct possibility.
“These championships in Orange are much better than the nationals. Organisers are much more friendly and everything is so well organised - Orange really does do a fantastic job,” gymnastics coach Kate Kinnear from Foster said.