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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Athletics SA seek state funding for national meet

Athletics SA seek state funding for national meet

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SOS: Athletics SA chief executive Adam Bishop will approach
Sports Minister Tom Kenyon for funding for a national athletics
meet in Adelaide.

Athletics SA seek state funding for national meet

Athletics by Kym Morgan
Weekly Messenger
14 Sep 2011

ATHLETICS SA will directly approach state Sports Minister Tom Kenyon for help as it urgently seeks funding to support its leg of Athletics Australia’s National Series.

The track and field state body last week gambled on gaining the support it needed when it committed to be part of the series, to be televised on Channel 9 with events in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

But ASA has already received a knock-back from Events SA and is yet to sign a major sponsor for the event, which would attract such stars as Steve Hooker and Sally Pearson.

If it hosted the event without backing, ASA estimated it would lose up to $100,000.

ASA CEO Adam Bishop said that would potentially undermine the organisation’s operations and admitted he had gambled by committing to the series without a major financial backer.

But Bishop, who had been given a deadline by Athletics Australia, said bringing an international class athletics meeting to SA for the first time in seven years was critical to the sport’s local profile, and he had no option but to take a risk.

“We’re passionate about getting this event here because we think it is crucial to the future of the sport,” he said. “For the development of our junior athletes we really believe it is important to expose them to top-level track and field, so they can watch their heroes live and gain inspiration.”

Bishop said ASA was negotiating with a number of private companies in an attempt to sign a major sponsor but would also speak to Mr Kenyon, in the hope of getting State Government backing.

The State Government earlier this year completed a $2.5 million upgrade of Santos Stadium, partly to help attract top-class athletics meets back to the state.

“We weren’t successful in our application to Events SA but I’m still hopeful that the (State) Government will help us in some capacity,” Bishop said.

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