In­flux ex­pected

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - Front Page - BY DEAN LAW­SON

Pre­dic­tions of Horsham’s pop­u­la­tion swelling by up to 5000 at a ma­jor mo­tor sport event next month have prompted or­gan­is­ers to urge busi­nesses to make sure they pre­pare for the oc­ca­sion.

Horsham Mo­tor­cy­cle Club spokesman Kenny Watts said there were clear in­di­ca­tions that a ma­jor in­flux of peo­ple would ac­com­pany KTM Aus­tralian Ju­nior Mo­tocross Cham­pi­onships at Dooen.

Mr Watts said en­try num­bers for the event, from Septem­ber 30 to Oc­to­ber 6, were climb­ing rapidly and he ex­pected the fi­nal tally to be be­tween 600 and 700.

“In­ter­est is really start­ing to pick up. It is go­ing to be big,” he said.

“New Zealand has al­ready reg­is­tered about 30 rid­ers who are com­ing to work out who will com­pete in world ti­tles next year and we’re con­stantly field­ing ques­tions about ac­com­mo­da­tion and ser­vices.

“Es­to­nian Marco Bet­tic, who won world and na­tional ti­tles last year, en­tered on Mon­day morn­ing and we’ve also had dis­cus­sions with an In­done­sian con­tin­gent trained over there by for­mer Ararat rider Lewis Ste­wart.

“It’s im­por­tant to re­mem­ber this is the largest ju­nior mo­tocross event in Aus­tralia.”

Adding to the oc­ca­sion is the In­ter­na­tional Mo­tor­cy­cling Fed­er­a­tion, the con­trol­ling body for in­ter­na­tional rac­ing, also declar­ing an Ocea­nia Chal­lenge be­tween Aus­tralia and New Zealand as part of the event.

Mr Watts said Horsham district peo­ple needed to be aware of how busy the Wim­mera cen­tre would be­come with the ar­rival of rid­ers, their teams and sup­port­ers.

“There will be be­tween 3000 and 4000 peo­ple di­rectly in­volved in the event and we ex­pect num­bers to swell up around the 5000 mark on the Fri­day,” he said.

“Vis­i­tors are go­ing to be in the re­gion for per­haps nine to 10 days and they will be go­ing out for tea most nights and spend­ing money.

“It’s go­ing to be a mas­sive eco­nomic boost for the re­gion.

“We sus­pect this has sneaked up on ev­ery­one and we don’t want the hos­pi­tal­ity busi­ness com­mu­nity in par­tic­u­lar un­der­es­ti­mat­ing the in­flux of peo­ple and trade.”

Hosts wanted

Mr Watts said an is­sue emerg­ing in the build-up was a need for ap­pro­pri­ate ac­com­mo­da­tion for over­seas rid­ers and teams.

“Many peo­ple who can’t get mo­tel ac­com­mo­da­tion are plan­ning to camp out and places like Wim­mera Events Cen­tre will be a hive of ac­tiv­ity. But over­seas vis­i­tors won’t be able to bring camp­ing gear with them, so we’re look­ing for places for them to stay,” he said.

Mr Watts said Horsham and the wider Wim­mera had earned a wel­com­ing rep­u­ta­tion from 2013, the last time the club hosted the na­tional ju­nior ti­tles.

“There were many com­ments about how friendly and help­ful ev­ery­one was and this has helped us es­tab­lish these events. So it would be great if we could do that again,” he said.

Horsham Mo­tor­cy­cle Club of­fi­cials will meet this week­end be­fore clos­ing and work­ing on the Dooen track in prepa­ra­tion for the ti­tles.

The club is us­ing the na­tional ju­nior ti­tles to gen­er­ate money to run world ju­nior ti­tles at Dooen next year.

Mr Watts said any­one who could of­fer ap­pro­pri­ate ac­com­mo­da­tion for over­seas vis­i­tors could call him on 0419 313 207.

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