The future of the Stawell Gift – Australia’s oldest and most prestigious professional footrace – has been secured thanks to a community support package delivered by the Andrews Labor Government.
The $1.22 million, four-year package will underwrite the growth of the iconic central Victorian athletics carnival until at least 2023.
Prizemoney will be maintained, including $40,000 for the winners of both the men’s and women’s gifts, and that certainty has enabled the broadcast agreement with Channel Seven to be confirmed for the next three years while making the event more attractive to potential sponsors.
Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula today announced the new partnership to manage the Gift, which brings together the Government, the Northern Grampians Shire Council and the Stawell Athletic Club.
The Northern Grampians Shire Council will contribute $150,000 plus annual in-kind support to ensure that the race venue, Central Park, is able to cater for the large crowds that flock to Stawell each Easter.
Mr Pakula thanked the local community, the Northern Grampians Shire Council, the Stawell Athletic Club and the Victorian Athletic League for their constructive approach to a sometimes difficult set of discussions.
The Labor Government has invested more than $700,000 over the past four years to support the Gift, which attracts visitors from around Australia and provides an important boost for business and jobs across the region.
A new Committee of Management, consisting of independent experts and representatives of the Victorian Government, the Northern Grampians Shire Council, the Victorian Athletic League and the Stawell Athletic Club, will be established by 1 July 2020. A transitional model will be in place for this year’s event.
The partnership will underpin the integrity of the Stawell Gift, enshrining an iconic event that delivers for spectators and competitors while enabling significant economic benefits to be achieved for the community.
The 2020 Stawell Gift will run from Saturday, 11 April to Monday, 13 April.
Quote attributable to Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula
“The Stawell Gift is more than a footrace, it’s part of the sporting folklore of this state. We’re delighted to be able to bring all the important players together to ensure that the event is secured, and along with it, the jobs and investment supported by it.”
Quote attributable to Northern Grampians Shire mayor Cr Murray Emerson
“We are thrilled that the Stawell Athletics Club has made the decision to accept this generous offer from the Victorian Government to secure the future of the Gift.”
Quote attributable to Stawell Athletic Club president Neil Blizzard
“We look forward to welcoming the thousands of participants and spectators to Stawell this Easter for the 139th running of the Stawell Gift.”