Busselton and Bunbury will co-host the 2018 Australian Women’s and 2019 Australian Men’s Masters Hockey Championships.
The events, which are run by Hockey Australia, are expected to attract thousands of competitors and spectators from across Australia.
It is proposed the 2018 event will consist of 140 matches, with 93 being held in Bunbury and 47 in Busselton.
There will be about 42 women’s teams representing seven age divisions, ranging from over 35 to over 65.
In 2019, the Men’s Champs will consist of 302 matches with 202 matches in Bunbury and 100 matches in Busselton.
There will be about 85 teams representing nine age divisions ranging from over 35 to over 75.
Australian Masters’ Hockey national coordinator Peter Sweeney said the Masters Hockey fraternity was very happy with the choice of Bunbury and Busselton for the championships.
“The opportunity to visit that beautiful part of WA will be strongly supported and the two tournaments will recognise the large contribution that WA Country players make to Masters Hockey,” he said.
Both events are funded by the state government through Tourism Western Australia’s Regional Events Program, which is supported by Royalties for Regions.
The City of Bunbury will contribute $80,000 over the two years and the City of Busselton will contribute $40,000.
The return on investment has been calculated at more than $15,000,000, as the event will bring in close to 3000 participants over the two championships.
Bunbury mayor Gary Brennan said the opportunity to showcase Bunbury to such a large number of visitors was too good to refuse.
“Bunbury has a long history of hockey champions coming from the city and to be able to co-host both the women’s and men’s master championships is just sensational,” he said.
“I look forward to welcoming the athletes to our paradise and am confident they will have an experience they won’t forget.
“This is another fantastic opportunity for Bunbury and the South West.”
City of Busselton Mayor Grant Henley shared this enthusiasm.
He noted Busselton hosted many high profile sporting events, however, bringing the Masters Hockey Games to the South West was particularly exciting.
“This event will bring significant returns to the local economy,” he said.
“It’s also beautifully aligned to council’s objective of encouraging healthy lifestyles and positive aging.”
The Women’s Champs will be held from September 27 to October 6.
The Men’s Champs will be held from September 20 to October 5 in 2019.
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