A new $500,000 fund to promote Western Australia as a sports event and training hub for Asia is set to forge stronger tourism and trade ties between the State and our northern neighbours.
The Asian Sport Strategy will fund Western Australia’s State Sporting Associations to better engage with overseas teams and encourage their use of WA as an offshore base for training and competitions.
The program will encourage local sporting associations to forge closer links for the benefit of local athletes and their Asian counterparts.
Swimming WA is the program’s first successful applicant – this week welcoming the Japanese swim team to Perth – as it kicks off a two-year plan to utilise the State’s excellence in the sport to build greater partnerships with Japan, China, Indonesia and India.
The Swimming WA program will involve training and development opportunities with the WA Institute of Sport, swimming scholarships for international students, a swimming instructor exchange program and continued delivery of the Indian Ocean All Stars Meet.
The funding program will also help strengthen broader ties between WA and Asia by encouraging increased local visitation, stronger engagement in international education and better trade links within the region.
As noted by Sport and Recreation Minister Mick Murray:
“Sport is in WA’s DNA and we already have some tremendous relationships within the Asian region.
“This program enables us to take that situation one step further by encouraging our Asian neighbours to bring their training camps to WA and participate in local competitions, while sharing our sporting expertise.”
As noted by Asian Engagement Minister Peter Tinley:
“WA shares the same time zone as much of Asia and is ideally placed to offer important economic, social and cultural opportunities to many of our most important trading partners.
“The Asian Sport Strategy seeks to leverage global interest in sports to boost local jobs, generate increased international tourism and attendance at WA events, and strengthen existing trade ties.”
As noted by Swimming WA chief executive Darren Beazley:
“Swimming WA is delighted to be the first sport selected to support the State Government in this wonderful initiative. Western Australians set a very high standard when it comes to swimming and continue to do so.
“Our involvement in this program will play a significant role in strengthening the sport here in the West, whilst building a reputation for excellence and building mutually bilateral relationships with swimming federations in the region. We look forward to working with the State Government over the next two years.”