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February 2018

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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Bunbury given the green light for a major Gift carnival in 2018 - $100k prizemoney planned

Bunbury given the green light for a major Gift carnival in 2018 - $100k prizemoney planned

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Bunbury's answer to the Stawell Gift green lit

By Blayde Grzelka
Bunbury Mail
8th Mar 2017

Bunbury is set to host its answer to the Stawell Gift after city council gave the green light to the event at Tuesday’s council meeting.

Council agreed to provide $60,000 in funding towards the Bunbury Geographe Gift on the condition event organisers including businessman Colin Piacentini, former deputy mayor Tom Dillon and event organiser Jo O’Dea matched their contribution with a further $60,000.

The additional $60,000, which the Mail understands would be raised through corporate sponsorship, would need to be raised by June this year to meet the city’s conditions.

Event organiser Jo O’Dea said they were already working on securing funds from sponsors now the event had the city’s confidence.

The group would like to host the event in conjunction with the 2018 Commonwealth Games and have worked with WA Athletics to find a date that would suit the national racing calendar in a move to attract the nation’s high-profile athletes.

“The athletes we want to attract will be looking to build their profile as potential Commonwealth and Olympic games athletes,” Ms O’Dea said.

Jo O’Dea also said the Bunbury Geographe event’s sizable prize pool of $100,000 would help secure the event’s success.

Councillor Joel McGuinness expressed his confidence in the project at Tuesday’s meeting.

“We put the challenge out to the community to bring bold and exciting ideas to us as a council that will benefit our community and I believe this is one such proposal,” he said.

“We’ve been working to bring events to the city that promote excellent media coverage, support our CBD and work in partnership with other organisations.

“It’s considerably low risk, if the organisers don’t find matching funding then the event won’t go ahead.”

Councillor Michelle Steck was the only councillor to vote against the city providing funding and said the event hadn’t earned the title of iconic.

She also argued other ‘iconic’ events like the Krikke Boys Shootout never asked council for funding.

“Don’t label this event as iconic, that title is earned over time by patronage of the people,” Ms Steck said.

Should the event proceed, it will be held at the Bunbury Recreation Ground across the weekend of April 28 and 29, 2018.



Bunbury race could emulate Stawell Gift

By Kate Fielding
Friday, 3 March 2017

A unique footrace has been pegged as the newest iconic event for Bunbury, but organisers have a financial hurdle to jump first.

Bunbury City Council is expected to next week accept a business case study for the Bunbury Geographe Gift 2018 and allocate $60,000 in funding.

However, event initiator Colin Piacentini and organisers Tom Dillon and Jo O’Dea will need to find another $140,000 to make the event a reality.

The two-day road race and professional athletics sprint event would be based on the successful Stawell Gift in Victoria.

The long-standing event sees athletes handicapped based on form and ability and racing for prize money, with punters able to bet on their favourites.

The proposed Bunbury event would include a free family day and road race through the CBD.

Bunbury Mayor Gary Brennan said the gift was an appropriate event for the council to consider and it would have a “multiplier effect” on the city.

“It has a number of benefits including attracting visitors to Bunbury for the two-day event,” Mr Brennan said.

“If we attract visitors, they’ll be booking accommodation and buying meals. There’s a few things to happen before it proceeds, but I think it will be very good.”

The funding allocation from the council would be subject to other funding and sponsorship being obtained by organisers.

Mr Brennan said the team behind the idea was confident it could come up with the money.

He also said the proposal had strong support from athletics organisations, including Athletics Western Australia.

The proposal is the first to be considered against the Sports Marketing Australia criteria – the result of an analysis into events suitable for Bunbury – and brought back to the council.

In a report to the council, events acting manager Lucy Wiseman said the gift had the potential to grow as an annual event.

“The vision for the event is to create a high-profile and iconic annual athletics sprint event for the region,” Ms Wiseman said.

The event has been earmarked for next April 28 and 29 to coincide with the Commonwealth Games.

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