Victoria Aces New Pitch For Sporting Ties With Sichuan

The Andrews Labor Government has secured new tennis and soccer coaching clinics alongside business opportunities through sport with Victoria’s new sister-state, Sichuan.

Joined by Tennis Australia Ambassador Todd Woodbridge and Melbourne Victory CEO Ian Robson, Premier Daniel Andrews visited Xinhau Junior School in Chengdu to see the clinics in action.

Melbourne Victory already has a strong presence in China, having qualified for the AFC Champions League four times since 2008 and securing a number of sponsors from China.

The A-League club will also pursue sister club agreements and player exchanges through the development of a Melbourne Victory Academy in association with Victoria University.

Tennis Australia runs the successful ANZ Tennis Hot Shots program for budding tennis players across Beijing, and today announced it is extending the program to Sichuan and will promote the Australian Open to the region’s 80 million people.

The joint sports event followed this week’s historic signing of the Victoria-Sichuan Sister-State Agreement – the first of its kind for Victoria in more than two decades.

The soccer and tennis clinics will nurture future stars and showcase Victoria’s leading sports training and technological capability.

Quotes attributable to the Premier Daniel Andrews

“Melbourne is already the proud sporting capital of Australia, and our bond with China’s fastest growing region will attract a new wave of visitors to iconic events like the Australian Open.”

“This is an opportunity to help train the next generation and promote Victoria’s best sporting attractions in China – that’s fantastic for tourism and great for jobs.”

Quotes attributable to Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley

“We look forward to expanding our hugely successful Tennis Hot Shots program to schools in Chengdu as part of a six month pilot which will introduce tennis to the next generation.”

“The Australian Open has long been known as the Grand Slam of Asia Pacific and we want to grow the sport in this fast growing region of China. It’s fantastic to see the Victorian Government partnering with Sichuan to help us promote tennis in China.”

Quotes attributable to Melbourne Victory CEO Ian Robson

“Melbourne Victory is delighted to be involved in this trade mission to China, given our reputation in Asia over the past decade and strong commercial relationships with Chinese companies.”

“A new project for our club is the development of an Academy, aimed at advancing the football education of talented young athletes. We see it as a chance to develop partnerships with international clubs, and get involved in tournaments and exchanges.”