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Mass participation sporting events calls for $48 million stimulus funding from Federal Government

Mass participation sporting events calls for $48 million stimulus funding from Federal Government
August 18, 2020

With the sector struggling to stay afloat due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Australia’s mass participation sporting event industry is seeking Federal Government support in the form of a $48 million stimulus package.

Describing the sector as being “in crisis”, the Australian Mass Participation Sporting Event Alliance (AMPSEA) is seeking the Federal Government support for the benefits that a strong sporting event industry delivers through local jobs, improved community health and the delivery of critical cash flow for regional economies.

Highlighting the sector’s value, AMPSEA Chair Chris Heverin, Managing Director of Spartan Australia and New Zealand, stated “he mass participation sporting event industry punches well above its weight, contributing $1.1 billion to the economy each year and employs more than 11,000 people.

“The 21,000 events held each year delivers health benefits for participants, provides critical cash flows for local economies and raised $70 million each year for charity.”

Wayne Larden, Chief Executive of Pont3, organisers of the Blackmores Sydney Running Festival and Marathon, advised of the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on the industry, explaining “unfortunately the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is having a devastating impact on the industry.

“With over 8,500 mass participation sporting events either cancelled or postponed we’re seeing a near 100% loss of revenue. We’re reaching out to Government to seek similar support to what has already been provided to the tourism, arts and live music industries.”

AMPSEA is seeking to partner with Government to run events that will support economic recovery, particularly in regional areas. The industry is seeking a $48 million stimulus package to support the delivery of mass participation sporting events as soon as it is safe to do so.

The proposed stimulus would be provided through a matched funding grant program allocated on a merit basis for COVID-Safe events. Major events require a minimum lead time of 3-6 months, meaning that the stimulus is needed this year to enable event operators to commit commercially to the delivery of mass participation sporting events for 2021. This investment in future events would support job creation, service providers and event suppliers.

Dave Beeche, Senior Vice President and Managing Director of The IRONMAN Group Oceania, organisers of events such as The Sun-Herald City2Surf and Sydney Morning Herald Half Marathon, said that a stimulus package is vital in keeping the industry afloat during this difficult time.

Beeche commented “the $48 million industry stimulus package, along with the existing JobKeeper program, would provide the industry with $220 million in support over the next 12 months, the amount we’ve calculated is required for the industry to survive.

“As an industry we want to emerge from this crisis in a position to support Australia’s recovery. Our industry provides vital support and opportunities for regional Australia and we believe that with Government assistance we can be a key player in the country’s revival.”

For more information on the Australian Mass Participation Sporting Event Alliance visit

Image shows the St Kilda Ironman Melbourne 70.3 event. Courtesy of AMPSEA.

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