Persistence, planning and positive relationships with national and state bodies has rescued an eight-day national event for Ballarat thought lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Basketball Ballarat CEO Peter Eddy announced today.

Basketball Ballarat & the Ballarat Sports Event Centre (B.SEC) have been selected as the host for the 8-day 2022 Australian Under-18 Men and Women Basketball Championships together with the premier junior wheelchair basketball championships, the Kevin Coombs Cup to be held from the 10th to 17th of April, 2022.

Eddy said attracting these two national events was a significant sporting and economic coup for Ballarat and Western Victorian Region and a major boost to the confidence of all in the Ballarat community as we work to deliver major events that will provide a financial boost to our local accommodation, hospitality, tourism and retail businesses.

Using economic modelling from the City of Ballarat visitors staying overnight generate a value of $148 per person. With conservative estimates of the numbers attending the two Championships put at 8,530 persons the value of the event to Ballarat is estimated to be $1.26M.

Basketball Ballarat CEO Peter Eddy with Sovereign Hill CEO Sara Quon

Significantly the event will be followed by the second week of school holidays and gives Ballarat businesses the opportunity to offer added value packages and extended stays in our community after the event concludes.

Basketball Australia Executive General Manager, Paul Maley, commented that it was only fitting that Ballarat were awarded the Australian Under-18 Championships and Kevin Coombs Cup hosting rights in 2022.

“Like everyone, we remain disappointed that the current pandemic meant that this year’s Australian Under-18 Championships and Kevin Coombs Cup scheduled to be contested in Ballarat had to be cancelled.

“We know how much hosting these two national championships means to the community at large, and after such an excellent tender to secure this year’s event during the original process, it was only appropriate that Basketball Australia award Ballarat Basketball and Ballarat Sports Event Centre the hosting rights for 2022.

“Ballarat as a city and Basketball Ballarat as an organisation have a reputation for delivering high quality events, and Australia’s finest emerging basketball talent look forward to descending on regional Victoria in April 2022 for the Australian Under-18 Championships and Kevin Coombs Cup,” concluded Maley.

Sovereign Hill CEO Sara Quon who joined with Eddy to announce the event said that “this is an incredible boost to our tourism sector’s optimism to have an event of this scale locked in”.

“Basketball events of this calibre time after time result in a diverse range of players and their support crews and families visiting Sovereign Hill and we look forward to welcoming them back again” Quon added.

“The eight-day National Championships will attract players and spectators from every state and territory across Australia. The two events in delivering more than 8,530 bed nights to the city guarantees that a broad cross section of our community enjoys the benefits of the event.” Eddy said.

Basketball Ballarat CEO Peter Eddy addressing the Media at the Ballarat Sports Events Centre

This same event was due to be hosted by Ballarat in April 2020 before it was proposed to move the event to September due to the COVID-19 restrictions on interstate travel however the event was eventually cancelled due to the Victoria’s current restrictions. Eddy said that he had been in ongoing dialogue with Basketball Australia to host this or a similar event as soon as possible to help support the city’s economic recovery in the post COVID environment.

On court fans will be lucky to witness the best junior basketballers in Australia – many of whom will be vying for future NBL and WNBL teams and, from that, Australian representation right through to the Olympic and Paralympic levels” Eddy said.

The eyes of the Basketball World including many US Colleges will be on this event.

With this national event secured we will be turning our attention to locking in other state level events, national level exhibition games for netball and basketball and own annual tournaments in 2021 and 2022.

Eddy added that the sports events community has a big role to play in seeking and attracting events back to Ballarat that will help our business sector recover from the COVID period and showcase their sports to the regional community.

Event Forecast

U/18 Nationals (Men & Women) 2022

TEAMS = 26
ATHLETES = 312 (12 x 26)
TEAM OFFICIALS = 104 (4 x 26)
TECHNICAL OFFICALS = 50
TOTAL OF 466
FAMILY ESTIMATE 26t x 10pl x 2 family members = 520

466 PLUS 520 BY 8 NIGHTS = 7,888 BED NIGHTS
Kevin Coombes Wheelchair Cup

TEAMS = 6
ATHLETES = 60 (10 x 6)
TEAM OFFICIALS = 24 (4 x 6)
TECHNICAL OFFICALS = 10
TOTAL OF 94
FAMILY ESTIMATE 6t x 10pl x 2 family members = 120

94 PLUS 120 BY 3 NIGHTS = 642 BED NIGHTS

TOTAL BOTH EVENTS = 8530 BED NIGHTS