Please note: this is an old article
It was published in January 2017, so the information may be out-of-date.
Shepparton has been awarded the honour of hosting next year’s Victorian Country Championships for the first time in more than a decade.
The Goulburn Valley and District Swimming Association will host the event at Aquamoves on the Australia Day weekend in a major coup for Shepparton after applying for the event with the backing of the Greater Shepparton City Council.
Shepparton Swimming Club president Phil Guthrie was ecstatic with the announcement, which came at the end of last weekend’s championships in Sale.
‘‘It’s all happened pretty quick for us, but it’s really exciting for the club and the town,’’ Guthrie said.
‘‘Realistically we thought we might be a chance for the 2019 event, but to be chosen for next year is great.’’
Shepparton will host the long course championships for the first time since 2006.
‘‘It really is a testament to all the hard work done by the district,’’ Guthrie said.
‘‘About three years ago there were crisis meetings about shutting down (the GVDSA), but it was decided that we would push on and look where it’s got us.’’
Club coach Michelle Swift said the announcement was amazing for the club.
‘‘We’re already really excited to be able to showcase Shepparton and put on a great event for the club and town,’’ Swift said.
The championships will have more than 600 swimmers descend on Shepparton for the three day meet, as well as hundreds of officials, coaches, family and spectators.
‘‘It’s logistically a big challenge and means a lot of work for the club, but the rewards are great,’’ Guthrie said.
‘‘We’ll be able to build our profile as a club and get the town buzzing with excitement.’’
Hosting the event will also be a welcome boost to the back pockets of the district, as well as Shepparton as a whole.
‘‘Financially it will be really positive, we have a major event (Shepparton Aqua Carnivale) in November that will now get a boost frompeople coming to check out the pool and get some practice in,’’ Guthrie said.
‘‘If we do it (hosting the championships) right, we can make a huge amount of money and put that directly back into better facilities for the kids.’’
The benefit for the local swimmers is not to be underestimated.
‘‘Not having to travel and getting to sleep in your own bed every night is a great advantage for the kids,’’ Guthrie said.
‘‘The rest of the club will be run off our feet organising everything, but the swimmers will be able to get even more out of themselves in their home pool.’’
Article curtesy of The Shepparton News, 31 January 2017. Written by Tyler Maher.