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Andrews Government Delivers Stawell A Gift

28 March 2016

The Andrews Labor Government is backing Australia’s most historic 120m footrace with the announcement today of $600,000 over four years to support the Stawell Gift.

The Labor Government is delivering on its election commitment to secure the future of the annual race by providing much needed funding to maintain buildings and sponsorship while protecting local and regional jobs.

Minister for Regional Development Jaala Pulford will present the winners trophies to both the Men’s and Women’s Gift Champions in Central Park, which represents a key date on Victoria’s tourism calendar, putting Western Victoria on the national sporting stage.

The Gift final is televised live on Easter Monday to an estimated audience of 900,000 and is the feature race of a three day carnival comprising sixty running events and associated activities.

The three day event is a major boost for Stawell’s tourism, hospitality and small business sector, generating over $1 million in spending.

The Women’s Gift Champions Parade will also be officially opened today. Stone plaques engraved with the names of the 27 past Women’s Gift champions will be placed under trees lining the road adjacent to Central Park.

Last year, 1,900 athletes participated in the carnival and for the first time female athletes competed for prize money equal to the men’s.

The women’s event has attracted a list of world-renowned competitors. Cathy Freeman and Sally Pearson are just some of the stars to have graced the Central Park turf, while Tamsyn Lewis features on the winners’ honour roll.

Australia’s fastest women’s sprinter Melissa Breen, along with teenage sensation Jack Hale are among the star studded field set to take part in today’s respective races.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Regional Development Jaala Pulford

"A race rich in history deserves a hopeful and prosperous future. We are proud to support the Gift as part of our commitment to invest in regional Victoria - because it deserves the best of everything."

"It’s races and sporting events like this that truly make Victoria the sporting capital of our nation."

"Tourism and major events contribute $21 billion to Victoria’s economy annually, and that means jobs and growth."

"We have seen champions born at the annual Stawell Gift and we look forward to seeing many more emerge."

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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