Government funding boost for elite Victorian events
THE recent launch of the snow season heralded an impressive announcement from the Victorian Coalition Government who are committing $60,000 towards a range of ski and snowboard events.
The financial package will go towards a selection of ski and snowboard events that will be held at the major Victorian resorts over the coming months.
Minister for Environment and Climate Change Ryan Smith, who officially opened the 2013 ski season at Mt Buller, announced the funding on behalf of Minister for Sport and Recreation Hugh Delahunty.
Mr Smith said that supporting events like these went a long way towards further establishing the reputation of Victoria’s alpine region as a bustling international ski and snowboard hub.
“As well as showcasing some of Australia’s up and coming ski talent, these events are a boon for the local regional economies, attracting large crowds,” Mr Smith said.
Mr Delahunty said the Coalition Government was committed to maintaining, developing and attracting top sporting events and athletes to the state.
“With the next Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia less than a year away, these elite ski events provide the perfect platform for aspiring world champions to impress for national team selection and follow in the footsteps of Victorian ski legends such as 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics champion, Lydia Lassila,” Mr Delahunty said.
The funding package will also assist event organisers, Ski and Snowboard Australia (SSA) to develop a 3-5 year event plan and marketing strategy to secure even more ma- jor events for Victoria’s ski fields.
Chief executive officer of SSA Michael Kennedy said Victoria had a proud tradition of hosting world-class events, none more so than the World Cup Aerial events which ran at Mt Buller for a decade from 1997.
“Ski & Snowboard Australia is delighted that the Victorian Coalition Government has recognised the potential of our current winter event series and we look forward to working with them to develop a long-term strategy for world-class winter events into the future,” Mr Kennedy said.
“The new Olympic disciplines in particular offer excellent opportunities for our resorts, as the infrastructure required is within the scope of our resorts’ current capacities.
“There is no reason why Victorian resorts including Mt Buller, Falls Creek and Mount Hotham can’t be World Cup venues in the years to come,” Mr Kennedy said.
“Australia goes into the Sochi Olympic Winter Games with our largest and probably strongest team ever.
“And it is fitting that we explore the possibility to give our world-class athletes a chance to perform at the highest level on home snow,” Mr Kennedy said.
Events that will be supported by the recent funding announcement include: