South Australia has secured another mass participation event with the announcement the Pacific School Games returning in 2017.
Tourism Minister Leon Bignell said the return of the Games was a huge financial windfall for our visitor economy with the 2015 event pumping more than $13 million into the state.
“The State Government has just secured the 2017 event and the timing couldn’t be better,” he said.
“This weekend we farewell thousands of primary and secondary students who took part in the state’s first Pacific School Games.
“It has been a huge success. We welcomed more than 8900 participants, officials and spectators and I’m sure every single visitor will become an ambassador for South Australia in their home country.
“The predicted economic impact of the Games was $13.6 million with a direct benefit for our hotels, taxis, restaurants and small businesses.
“In this year’s Budget (2015), the State Government committed an additional $35 million to market South Australia nationally and internationally and to attract major events. Securing these Games for 2017 proves once again we were right on the money with this investment.
“The visitor economy is worth $5.4 billion to our state and tourism employs 32,000 people. Our goal is for it to reach $8 billion by 2020 and to create an extra 9000 jobs.”
Education and Child Development Minister Susan Close said the Games celebrated school sport, teamwork, multiculturalism and personal development.
“For the past 10 days Adelaide has been home to students, spectators and supporters from Cambodia, Fiji, Macau, New Zealand, Pakistan, India and China, as well as the rest of Australia,” Ms Close said.
“The participants competed in nine sports – baseball, basketball, diving, football, goalball, softball, swimming, table tennis and touch football – at the state’s best sporting facilities.”
School Sport Australia Executive Officer Brad Allen said the sports to be featured in 2017 will be determined following a review of this year’s events.
“School Sport Australia is thrilled to receive the support from the State Government through Events South Australia and the South Australian Tourism Commission for the event to return to Adelaide in 2017.”
The games conclude this weekend with each sport holding its own closing ceremony and medal presentation yesterday or today. The Games will return to Adelaide from December 2 to 10 in 2017.