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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Athletics SA miss out on funds for national meet

Athletics SA miss out on funds for national meet

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Athletics SA chief executive Adam Bishop hopes private
backing can be sourced for a national meet at SANTOS Stadium.

Funding blowout puts elite event in doubt

by Kym Morgan
Weekly Times Messenger
16 Aug 11

A NATIONAL athletics meeting which would attract stars like Sally Pearson and Steven Hooker to Adelaide’s newly-upgraded Santos Stadium will only go ahead with private backing, after Events SA refused to fund it.

This month’s rejection is a major blow for Athletics SA, which has not hosted an elite athletics meeting since 2005 and hoped to hold a leg of Athletics Australia’s National Tour next January.

Athletics SA had applied to Events SA for between $75,000 and $100,000 but was knocked back.

This is despite the State Government spending $2.5 million on an upgrade of Santos Stadium, which was completed earlier this year.

Athletics SA chief executive Adam Bishop declined to comment on Events SA’s cold-shoulder last week but said he now hoped private backing could be urgently sourced.

Bishop predicted the event would draw 3000 spectators, 250 interstate athletes and support staff, as well several hundred rural and interstate fans.

It is understood Channel Nine, which will host the London Olympics, is considering televising the Adelaide event - meaning it could provide national exposure to SA if it went ahead.

West Torrens Council Mayor John Trainer said his council would consider any funding application for the event, which would take place within West Torrens.

But he doubted the council would chip in more than $5000-$10,000.

West Torrens Deputy Mayor Arthur Mangos, also an Athletics SA board member, said he would support a bid to gain funding through the council but labelled Events SA’s non-funding of the event “a joke”.

“We’re talking about a major athletics meeting which would attract international class athletes and be fantastic for the profile of this state as an events destination,” Cr Mangos said.

“I would have thought this was the type of thing Events SA was there to support.”

In an emailed statement last week, Events SA general manager Hitaf Rasheed refused to answer questions directly relating to the decision not to fund the event, citing “commercial in-confidence”.

"Let's Go While We're Young"

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