Busselton eyes sports centre title

Jackson Lavell-LeeBusselton Dunsborough Times
Ian Bower and Kate Farley prepare for the Busselton Jetty Swim in Febraury
Camera IconIan Bower and Kate Farley prepare for the Busselton Jetty Swim in Febraury Credit: Busselton-Dunsborough Times, Jackson Lavell-Lee

It is already known as the events capital of WA, but with a series of high-profile sporting events being held in the city of late, Busselton could be pushing for the title of the State’s favourite sporting destination.

Events such as the Ironman, Busselton Jetty Swim, Forest Rally, and international events such as the Geographe Race Week and SuperFoiler Grand Prix attract thousands to town. Recently, Busselton was chosen to host major events including the Masters Hockey National Championships and the National Seniors’ Tennis Championships.

Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association chief executive Sharna Kearney said these type of events often attracted people who might not otherwise visit the region.

“The region is a popular destination for national sporting championships due to the diverse range of experiences, the large and varied supply of accommodation and the quality sporting facilities,” she said. “Events such as these can also be the catalyst for repeat visitation.”

Coinciding with this boom is the upgrade of many local facilities.

Upgrades to the John Edwards Pavilion in Dunsborough and new playing fields at Vasse have expanded local cricket competitions, with the new Vasse Cricket Club the major beneficiary, winning both the B-grade Twenty20 and 45-over competitions. The Lou Weston Netball Centre is scheduled for a much-needed upgrade but continues to draw big numbers of players and spectators from across the region every week.

Mayor Grant Henley said Busselton was a major regional centre for sports competition.

“Events, sports and outdoor recreation are an integral part of the South West lifestyle and a significant visitor drawcard,” Mr Henley said.

“While council’s main objective in investing in recreational and sporting facilities is to ensure the wellbeing of our growing population, attracting regional, national and even international competition is certainly another key objective.”

Vasse MLA Libby Mettam agreed Busselton was a burgeoning sports hub.

She said the region boasted the highest number of people under the age of 21 in the State, which made sport and events an integral part of the community and local business.

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