Western Australia will host the Australian Women’s Masters Hockey Championships later this year, and the Australian Men’s Masters Hockey Championships in 2019, with both events being staged at hockey stadiums in Bunbury and Busselton.
The events, which are run by Hockey Australia and supported by the City of Busselton and City of Bunbury, are expected to attract thousands of competitors and spectators from across Australia.
Events such as these have a positive impact on the State’s economy, with growth in the tourism, hospitality and local regional sectors from visitor spend.
The Australian Women’s Masters Hockey Championships (Women’s Champs) and Australian Men’s Masters Hockey Championships (Men’s Champs) are hosted annually in a different location within Australia.
The Women’s Champs is an annual 10-day event and the national representative competition for women hockey players over the age of 35 years. 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.
The Men’s Champs is Hockey Australia’s largest participation event for male players over the age of 35 years. 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.
Both events are funded by the State Government through Tourism Western Australia’s Regional Events Program, which is supported by Royalties for Regions.
The Women’s Champs will be held from September 27, 2018 to October 6, 2018, and the Men’s Champs will be held from September 20, 2019 to October 5, 2019.
Attracting mass participation events such as these forms part of Tourism WA’s new Two-Year Action Plan, aimed at driving greater tourism outcomes.
Tourism Minister Paul Papalia said the popular sporting events would attract thousands of visitors, and deliver significant economic and social benefits to the State.
“It is estimated more than 184,000 people currently play hockey in Australia, with Western Australia having the third highest participation rates in the country,” Papalia said.
“It is expected these two events will attract thousands of visitors and increase the length of time they stay in the spectacular South-West region, where they can experience world-class wineries and restaurants, stunning coastal and forest scenery, and many other natural wonders.
“When visitors stay longer, they spend more – boosting the local economy and securing jobs in the tourism sector.”