Australia’s elite athletes will chase a $78,000 prize pool at the inaugural Bunbury Geographe Gift to be held on April 28 and 29 next year. Modelled on the famous Stawell Gift, there is massive $18,000 up for grabs each for the male and female winners of the elite 120m handicap event.
It is anticipated athletes from all over the country will converge on the South West WA hotspot. And with the Commonwealth games a couple of weeks prior, there will be plenty of opportunity for the event to attract big names.
The brainchild of local businessman Colin Piacentini in response to the changing social and economic climate in the South West, the race is seen as a way to drive people back to Bunbury.
Project manager Jo O’Dea said the event already had overwhelming support from local businesses, the Bunbury Geographe Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Athletics WA and the City of Bunbury.
“With more than $150,000 raised already and planning well underway, we are set to deliver an event of national significance,” she said.
City of Bunbury Mayor Gary Brennan congratulated Mr Piacentini and his family for developing and promoting the exciting initiative.
“The City Council is pleased to be a major sponsor and our community looks forward to welcoming athletes and supporters to our wonderful City in 2018,” he said.
“This event is another opportunity to showcase our City and the Bunbury Geographe region and enhances a growing events calendar centred on sporting and cultural activities.”
Mr Brennan said he anticipates the event will draw a large number of first time visitors to Bunbury and the region and hopes their positive experience will result in return visits.
Held at the Bunbury Recreation Ground, the Gift will feature a two-day programme of races enhanced by a series of activities to cater for every member of the family. Including lawn games, athletics clinics, yoga, 5km fun run, interactive activities, licensed trackside lounge, Wyalup Beach cafe, the expanding program will create a unique annual family event.