The Shepparton community has been given a major boost – with Squash and Racquetball Victoria receiving funding from the Andrews Labor Government’s Significant Sporting Events Program to host the Shepparton International Squash Championships over the next three years.
Member for Northern Victoria, Mark Gepp MP today announced the 2020 championship event will be held between 30 July – 2 August 2020.
Dates for 2021 and 2022 are yet to be announced.
The Shepparton International Squash Championships is a four day PSA World Tour event, featuring 80 male and female players and over 200 spectators. Players will compete world ranking points and a US$12,000 prize pool across both the men’s and women’s open divisions.
The $17.7 million Significant Sporting Events Program supports organisations to deliver sporting events that are national or international in focus, or have regional significance and are recognised by a relevant sporting body.
Since 2010, the program has supported more than 700 sporting events in Victoria, of which, more than half have been held in regional Victoria.
They bring competitors, officials and supporters to our communities, stimulate the local economy and inspire more people to stay active and healthy through sport.
The program is part of the Labor Government’s commitment to sport and active recreation, gender equality and to encouraging all Victorians to get out there and get active.
Across Victoria, the Government has invested more than $850 million in community sport and active recreation infrastructure since 2014.
Quotes attributable to Mark Gepp MP, Member for Northern Victoria
“Congratulations to Squash and Racquetball Victoria. Sport is such an important part of our community and it’s fantastic that we’ve been able to attract the International Squash Championships to Shepparton.”
“This is great news for fans as well as for local workers and small businesses who will benefit from more visitors to the region. Victoria is Australia’s sporting and events capital and I’m proud that our community is part of that ongoing success.”
“We back these events because they create economic benefit and jobs while also providing a first-rate opportunity for the community to watch elite sports compete, as well as inspire people to get involved in sport and recreation.”
Quotes attributable to Russell McLean, General Manager Squash & Racquetball Victoria
“It is really exciting that the Victorian Government is getting behind squash and these events help highlight Shepparton on a worldwide scale and it opens the door for high calibre players to compete locally, like Ben Ratcliffe, as well as inspire the next generation of promising young athletes.”
“It’s important to have these fantastic events on the calendar in regional areas as it showcases the sport and its athletes, and inspires young people to participate as they watch local stars compete.”
Quotes attributable to Ben Ratcliffe, Shepparton local and professional Squash player
“I think it’s really cool that the Government is giving us the opportunity to showcase the sport, especially in my hometown, so I’m really looking forward to the championships.”
“These events give us the opportunity to boost our world rankings which will enable us to compete in more competitions, including the Commonwealth Games.”
“Squash doesn’t get the same attention as other sports but hopefully these extra events will attract more interest in the sport and get the recognition it deserves.”