Australia’s best regional hockey players will land in Cairns this August for the Australian Country Championships and bring $1.2 million for the region’s economic recovery plan.
Member for Cairns and Assistant Tourism Minister Michael Healy said the tournament would be played at the Cairns Hockey Fields.
“This will bring hundreds of players, support team members and spectators to Cairns, staying 5,700 visitor nights and delivering $1.2m for the Palaszczuk Government’s Far North economic recovery plan,” Mr Healy said.
“Cairns has good facilities at the Lake Street precinct and perfect weather in August for championship hockey.
“I know the Far North’s hockey community will also be looking forward to seeing Australia’s elite regional players in action.”
Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the Australian Country Championships Hockey Tournament had been secured by the Palaszczuk Government’s North Queensland Events Recovery Package.
“With the global pandemic keeping our international border firmly shut, we know how important destination sporting events are to communities like Cairns who relied on overseas visitors,” Mr Hinchliffe said.
“The feedback we’ve had from industry roundtables is tourism operators are eager to host events that help bridge the dips in the traditional visitor cycle.
“Hockey’s Australian Country Championships do exactly that.
“The championships will deliver extra passengers for reef tours during August, more tickets on the Skyrail and more visitors enjoying the Far North’s warm hospitality in restaurants and cafes.
“Far North Queensland has great sporting infrastructure for competitions and the first-class visitor experiences players and spectators are keen to explore.
“This is a win for hockey and helps Cairns’ tourism operators manage the region’s visitor cycles.”
Hockey Australia GM – Commercial, Communications and Events, Tim Cherry said Cairns and Tourism and Events Queensland had shown a real eagerness and appetite to host the event.
“Allowing the Australian Country Championships to be played in Cairns this year is a fantastic outcome for all involved,” said Cherry.
“Tourism and Events Queensland have thrown their hand up to host this year’s championships and we know Cairns will do a fantastic job in welcoming the participants and providing them with a great experience both on and off the field.
“We thank TEQ for their support and their enthusiasm to make sure this event is a success, particularly after all national championships in 2020 were cancelled due to COVID.
“Importantly, this announcement gives all of the teams plus family and friends sufficient time to organise their travel, accommodation and entertainment plans.”
The Australian Country Championship is an open male and female field hockey tournament hosted annually, comprising teams of players from country regions in each Australian state and territory.
The 2021 event will be held at Cairns Hockey Fields from 7 – 14 August.