Pathway for dreams

By Cobram Courier

Funds allocated in the 2018-19 Victorian budget could help make distant dreams a reality for Cobram-Barooga sports fans.

The Victorian Government intends to grow regional tourism and sporting events in northern Victoria and the timing could not be better, with Cobram Barooga Business Tourism recently launching its Sports Tourism Program.

Member for Northern Victoria Mark Gepp said regional tourism boards could apply for grants to boost local economies and jobs by attracting new visitors and new events.

‘‘We want to bring more events to northern Victoria because they create jobs, fill our hotels, attract new visitors and strengthen our local economy,’’ he said.

Sporties Barooga is aligned with CBBT’s Sports Tourism Program and its business development manager Tony Tranter said the program would look at applying for funding to focus on a specific sporting event if suitable to do so.

‘‘I would imagine we will at some stage. We need to ensure we have the right type of fit for an event, but we are aware of the new funding opportunities and would certainly like to find or develop an event that’s a good match,’’ he said.

Mr Tranter said funding for the program could help change its objectives in terms of what was achievable and what was not.

‘‘This funding opportunity has the potential to have a significant impact for us — what it could do is make it feasible for us to attract a major event that we’d have no chance to otherwise,’’ he said.

‘‘Again, this is why it’s really important that we have the strong support of our members and partners so that when the opportunity does come we are ready to go.’’

Funds would also be available to regional event organisers, sporting associations, venues and local councils to help kick-start bids to host more national or international sporting events.