Grafton 2 Tyler Gaddes (left) during the Grafton 2 and Grafton 3 under 13 rep hockey teams played each other on Saturday at Grfaton. Photo Debrah Novak / The Daily Examiner
Grafton 2 Tyler Gaddes (left) during the Grafton 2 and Grafton 3 under 13 rep hockey teams played each other on Saturday at Grfaton. Photo Debrah Novak / The Daily Examiner Debrah Novak

Tackling sports tourism a team effort

INCREASED competition for lucrative sports tourism has provoked Clarence Valley Council to streamline its sponsorship process to attract events.

Council estimates sports tourism has been worth more than $65million for the local economy in recent years.

At Tuesday's meeting the council agreed to the formation of a panel including one councillor, an officer appointed by the general manager and a sports tourism partner to process requests for sports tourism sponsorship up to $8000.

Sports tourism is proving a lucrative proposition for rural areas and the Clarence is no exception, said the council's director of environment planning and community Des Schroder.

Mr Schroder said the council had a formula which allowed it to estimate the dollar value to the economy based on the numbers of visitors coming for events.

He told the meeting the need for the panel became obvious after a Sports Marketing Australia (SMA) seminar with council.

The competition for events between areas is fierce and there is a need to be able to respond quickly to sponsorship requests.

He said since June council had worked with eight business partners in the Sports Tourism Partner Program.

In a year the partners had contributed $21,000 to the program with $20,000 coming from the council, making it essential decision-making is split between business and the council.

The council report said there had been eight business partners in the program this financial year and there were a further six events to be held this year, including the under-13 boys state hockey titles.

The Mayor, Richie Williamson, said the panel was needed to give the program flexibility.

"With an economic return of more than $65million to the Clarence Valley, it's well worth the effort."

Cr Jim Simmons proved to be the lone voice against the decision.

"I see it as a further erosion of the council's responsibility to generate benefits to the area," he said.

Cr Sue Hughes nominated herself for the councillor's position and Cr Jason Kingsley will serve as her alternate.



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