Vic Open to stay in Shepparton until 2017
Shepparton will remain the long-term home of the Victorian Open.
Bowls Victoria and Greater Shepparton City Council have agreed to a deal which will keep the Open – Victorian bowls’ marquee event – in the Shepparton region until the end of 2017.
The Open has been held in and around Shepparton since 2011, with this year’s tournament running from November 7 to 13.
Greater Shepparton Deputy Mayor, Cr Fern Summer, says this event will inject more than $1m into the Greater Shepparton economy.
“With more than 1,200 players expected and 2,000 visitors converging on the region from around Australia this event generates well over $1 million for our community keeping business busy and the economy strong across seven days in accommodation bookings, hospitality, retail and visiting our tourism attractions,” Cr Summer says.
“This is a great boost for our region with every single bowls club in Greater Shepparton involved in the event generating great community pride in hosting these prestigious championships.”
Bowls Victoria Chief Executive Graeme Bridge says: “Bowls Victoria is excited that the event will stay in Shepparton, and that Greater Shepparton City Council sees the event as so important to the local community.
“What it now means is we can plan for the long-term, knowing that Shepparton is the home of this important event.”
Bowls Victoria President John Fisher, who is himself from the state’s north-east, welcomes the decision to keep the event in regional Victoria.
“We’re mindful the majority of our Victorian bowls clubs are based in regional Victoria, and to have our marquee event there is both appropriate and important for us, and our members.
“We thank Greater Shepparton City Council for their great support of our event, and allowing us to keep it in regional Victoria,” Mr Fisher says.
What makes the Victorian Open a unique tournament in the Australian bowls landscape is that it allows the grassroots bowler to compete alongside the elite in an event offering $42,000 prize money.
All affiliated club bowlers from anywhere in Australia, or from World Bowls-aligned nations, can compete in singles, pairs, triples and mixed pairs events at the tournament.
Heading the entries received so far is Australian Indoor Women’s Singles Champion Carla Odgers, from Sunbury. Carla, 25, is Victoria’s top-ranked bowler nationally and the defending Victorian Open women’s singles champion.
Already more than 500 entries have been received for the tournament – mostly from rank and file club bowlers.
Last year, there were 940 entries so we are more than halfway to that total.
Entries for the Victorian Open close on October 14, with the tournament to be hosted at bowls clubs around the Greater Shepparton region from November 7 to 13.
Shepparton Park Bowls Club will host the finals.
Find out how to enter the Victorian Open here