Sports championships to boost COVID recovery

Date published: 8 June 2020

Townsville will look to attract state and regional school and club sports championships to assist in the region’s economic and social recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

The proposal is being explored by the North Queensland Regional COVID-19 Coordination Taskforce working group on arts, sports and events.

COVID-19 recovery taskforce chair Jenny Hill said the city’s sporting assets and facilities, coupled with Townsville’s great weather, made it an ideal host for the state championships.

“In a normal year, the northern region would host 3-5 State and regional school and club championships as part of the championships roster,” Cr Hill said.

“Thanks to COVID-19, 2020 is anything but a normal year.”

Sports, arts and events working group chair Jamie Fitzpatrick said COVID restrictions provided opportunities to extend events that are typically centred in the South East into North Queensland.

“We know that Queensland School Sports is currently looking at rebooting some of the state and regional championships that were scheduled for 2020 but were cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions.

“We think Townsville is a natural choice to host a portion of carnivals and ensure all students get their opportunity to participate.

“Some of the age group carnivals in the South East have been cancelled due to COVID restrictions and to bring them to the North would provide a real shot-in-the-arm for our local economy as well as our community spirit.”

Mr Fitzpatrick pointed to facilities such as Queensland Country Bank Stadium, the Townsville Sports Reserve, Townsville Stadium and Murray Sports Complex and school-based facilities across the city as being ready to host the championships safely.

“We also have a host of local accommodation providers, restaurants and hospitality providers who would benefit from hosting events like this in the city,” he said.

Visit the TaskforceNQ website to learn more.