Originally written by Spectator-Observer Partnership
THE South West Games may take on a fourth cog with the Corangamite Shire Council putting together a bid to host the 2005 staging of the annual event.
The allocation would dramatically change the Games, which has been shared between Southern Grampians, Moyne and Glenelg shires on a rotating basis.
Corangamite has put up its hand for the 23rd staging of the South West Games, some 20 years after the event was last held in the district.
It is a notion that has garnered support from South West Sports Assembly executive officer Michael Neoh.
“I think it will freshen up the Games,” Neoh said. “They are being rotated between three cities and by including Corangamite it gives the councils an added year to accumulate financial support.”
In 1985, the Heytesbury Shire hosted the third year of the Games when it was centred around Timboon.
However, since then, the Games have circulated between centres Warrnambool (Moyne), Hamilton (Southern Grampians) and Portland (Glenelg) with events throughout their respective shires.
The move to add Corangamite to the triangle of hosts has received support, with the 2005 Games proposed to centre around Camperdown, Terang, Timboon and Port Campbell.
“We are looking at the logistics of it at the moment,” Neoh said.
“We have to look at whether it’s capable of conducting the event and are starting to discuss the issue with our sponsors.
“The Corangamite Shire Council has pledged its support to host the Games and it is just a matter of appeasing the corporate sponsorship.”
Neoh hopes that the move will be supported, suggesting that there were many positives in expanding the Games to a fourth shire.
“I am pleased the Corangamite Shire has put its hand up,” he said.
“There are a lot of benefits that we are weighing up, including the tourism aspect of the Great Ocean Rd.
“In addition it will be great for the club’s in the shire. When the games are held we are incorporating club development so this will allow us to work with new organisations and give additional support.”
The South West Games group is beaming at the moment having put the final wrap on the 21st staging of the event, which was hosted by Portland’s Southern Grampians Shire.
“They went off pretty well. Weather wise the second weekend was the better of the two and the positive is across the board there seemed to be a growth in the stronger teams sports.”
Numbers wise, the games attracted close to 5000 competitors, which is similar to previous figures in the Glenelg region and is not a lot shy of the 6000 attracted to Warrnambool and between 5000-6000 that attend Hamilton’s staging.
An official wind-up for the 2004 staging of the games will be held at the Glenelg Shire Council offices on December 2 which will provide an opportunity to recognise the contributions made by volunteers.
– MICHAEL HOWARD