Umina to host surf life saving championships
NSW Surf Life Saving has chosen Umina and Ocean Beach as hosts for the State life saving championships for the next two years.
The events will run over seven days and encompasses two consecutive weekends in March.
The championship is expected to attract over 8000 competitors.
Central Coast Tourism's chief executive officer Mr Ollie Philpot said that being the host destination for such a high profile event would provide substantial benefits for the region.
"This world-class event will no doubt catapult the Central Coast as a pre-eminent destination for a beach holiday and a serious contender for other State and National events."
He claimed that overall the event would inject an estimated $36 million into the local economy over the two years.
"With an influx of thousands of competitors and their families, our local tourism operators and other businesses should see this as a bonanza for their business during a traditionally off-peak period," continued Philpot.
Central Coast Tourism's business and tourism events manager Mr Chris King said he would be working closely with both Gosford Council and Wyong Council to deliver a successful event which would be key in leveraging the profile of the Central Coast as a host destination for other State and National Championships.
Mayor of Gosford Cr Laurie Maher said that hosting the Championships would provide a great boost for tourism and small business in Umina Beach and surrounding areas.
"With an influx of visitors before, during and after the competition period, businesses in the area will benefit from a major increase in customers.
"Competitors, their families and spectators from around NSW will be utilising short term accommodation and numerous other services during their stay.
"It is anticipated that the championships will generate an estimated $18 million [per year] for the host city, an exciting prospect for the Umina Beach area.
"Surf life savers from across the state will be able to see firsthand the significant investment that Council has made into infrastructure to support beach safety and the maintenance of the beautiful beaches we enjoy in the Gosford Local Government Area," said Cr Maher.
Gosford Council's manager of open space and leisure services Mr Phil Moore said Council would be providing in-kind support during the event.
"In partnership with Central Coast Tourism, NSW and Central Coast Surf Life Saving, Council officers will be working to provide a safe and enjoyable event for competitors and spectators.
"Council will be providing a number of beach vehicles, fencing, lighting and access services for the event, with Central Coast tourism providing assistance to spectators and competitors in securing accommodation and other services," said Mr Moore.
Surf Life Saving NSW president Mr Tony Haven said Umina and Ocean Beach would provide a world-class venue for the state's premier surf sports event, which attracts more than 8000 competitors.
"Gosford Council has been very supportive of this event and the location is ideal, close to the majority of competitors, with great accommodation options and easy access.
"The facilities available to competitors and the overall support from Gosford Council were major factors in selecting Umina and Ocean Beach to host of the event ahead of six other Councils who expressed interest in hosting the event.
"Both clubs also have a wealth of experience in conducting successful surf events on a large scale, with the 2005 Championships held here at Umina and Ocean Beach one of our most successful to date with over 800 entrants," said Mr Haven.