BASKETBALL Ballarat will this afternoon announce it has rescued an eight-day national tournament for the city that had twice been axed as a casualty of the coronavirus pandemic.
The association has secured Basketball Australia's under-18 men and women's championships to be run simultaneously with junior wheelchair championships Kevin Coombs Cup for April 2022.
Ballarat had been set to host the championships earlier this year, which were then postponed to September and later cancelled due to lockdown restrictions.
Basketball Ballarat chief Peter Eddy said securing the national events was a significant sporting and economic coup for Ballarat and the western region.
Mr Eddy said it was a major confidence boost for the community in bringing back major events that otherwise would have been lost, including the ripple effects on the region's tourism, hospitality and retail sectors.
"The sports events community has a big role to play in seeking and attracting events back to Ballarat that will help our business sector recover from the COVID period and showcase their sports to the regional community," Mr Eddy said.
Conservative modelling from Basketball Ballarat and the City of Ballarat shows such championships generate $1.26 million for the region.
Sovereign Hill chief Sara Quon said an event of this scale was an incredible boost for the region's tourism sector, especially amid such a difficult time.
"Basketball events of this calibre time after time result in a diverse range of players and their support crews and families visiting Sovereign Hill and we look forward to welcoming them back again," Ms Quon said.
The eight-day championships will attract players and spectators from every state and territory across Australia and deliver more than 8,530 bed nights to Ballarat.
Basketball Australia executive general manager Paul Maley said it was only fitting Ballarat was awarded the under-18 championships and Kevin Coombs Cup hosting rights in 2022 after a disappointing year due to the pandemic.
"We know how much hosting these two national championships means to the community at large, and after such an excellent tender to secure this year's event during the original process, it was only appropriate that Basketball Australia award Ballarat Basketball and Ballarat Sports Event Centre the hosting rights for 2022," Mr Maley said.