Ballarat secures sporting event to attract thousands of visitors

A sporting carnival that will attract thousands of junior athletes and their families is coming to Ballarat.

The City of Ballarat has secured the rights to host the School Sport Australia Games, in what is destined to be a massive celebration of junior sport.

The multi-disciplinary event will include seven sports to be played over a week in October 2025, utilising a range of Ballarat’s premier sporting facilities.

It is expected that about 1300 young athletes will be in action from throughout Australia, with traveling families and officials meaning more than 3000 visitors will be calling Ballarat home during the event.

The sports will include cricket, soccer, golf, netball, softball, touch football, and tennis. The majority of which the sports will feature the 12-and-under age competitions, with touch football and tennis to include a combination of age groups.

It is expected the event will inject almost $2 million into the Ballarat economy.

The City of Ballarat was successful in its bid to host the event, which comes off the back of exclusively hosting the recent White Night event and securing the only regional Victorian Cold Chisel concert.

City of Ballarat Deputy Mayor, Cr Peter Eddy said Ballarat had a proven track record of attracting and successfully hosting major sporting events.

“In recent years we have invested significantly into our sporting facilities, making Ballarat a leading regional centre for the hosting of sporting events,” Cr Eddy said.

“We look forward to welcoming thousands of visitors to our city to use our sporting facilities, but also experience everything Ballarat has to offer.

“We also expect our local accommodation and hospitality businesses to benefit greatly from Ballarat attracting such a major event.”

The School Sport Australia Games is a new concept that is starting with its inaugural event in the Gold Coast in July/August, 2024.

School Sport Australia Executive Officer, Phil Reeves explained why Ballarat had been chosen to host the 2025 summer event.

“School Sport Australia is thrilled to bring the School Sport Australia Games to Ballarat, a city renowned for its sporting and tourist appeal,” Mr Reeves said.

“This event highlights our commitment to a new multi-sport format, revolutionising representative school sports. The inaugural games will take place in Queensland in six weeks, and we are already gearing up for an equally spectacular event in Ballarat for 2025.

“The School Sport Australia Games will offer students an unforgettable sporting and educational experience.

“This would not be possible without the substantial support from the City of Ballarat and our partners, including UniSport Australia and Struddys.”

The event is expected to be held in mid to late October 2025, however exact dates are yet to be confirmed.

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