Table tennis set to bring in big bucks
ONLY three months into its tenure at Seagulls Club, Tweed Heads West, Table Tennis Australia has secured a number of international tournaments, which are expected to inject hundreds of thousands of dollars into the local economy.
Snared from a Sydney venue, the Australian Championships, now to be staged at the club in March at a cost of $100,000, are expected to bring at least $300,000 into the local economy.
In April the World Junior Circuit two-week tournament will be held in addition to two Australia-China junior training camps.
The world junior circuit will host more players than the nationals, with more than 120 players expected to converge on the Tweed from China, Japan and South Korea.
Event sponsorship by Luneng Taishan Club in Geneeng, North China - the home of men's and women's Olympic gold medallists - made this event possible, Table Tennis Australia president William Goodier said.
He said the agreement is part of a national strategy to engage China, offering the sporting powerhouse a chance to lift the international competitive standard and profile of table tennis.
"We have identified in the last few years that we are better aligning ourselves with Asia, and China particularly, instead of Europe, which was traditionally the home of table tennis, because they are a great resource for our players to practice, train, get coaching and participate in international events," he said.
"The link to Tweed will continue and it will grow considerably in the next couple of years."
In the next six months, the international events in addition to the Para Table Tennis training camp, Junior and Cadet Top Ten will create 3000 hotel night stays.
Destination Tweed chief executive Bill Tatchell welcomed Table Tennis Australia and said it would promote these events.
"Sports tourism is a high-yield market segment and the average daily expenditure of sports tourists is higher than leisure tourists," Mr Tatchell said.
Try table tennis for free: February 21 at Seagulls Club, Tweed Heads West.