Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Cobram-Barooga to host Tri State Games

Cobram-Barooga will host the Tri State Games in 2017 and 2018.

JESSICA GRIMBLE February 20, 2013 4:00am

Cobram-Barooga athletes will host Tri State Games in their own town in 2017 and 2018.

Cobram-Barooga will host the Tri State Games in 2017 and 2018.

The annual, week-long sporting event attracts about 300 athletes from disability organisations throughout Victoria, South Australia and NSW.

A committee last week voted to bring the event to Cobram-Barooga.

A town or region hosts the event for two years before it moves to another area.

Executive officer Sean Harnes said he had visited local facilities and deemed them fit for hosting rights.

He said participation from people living in Cobram and Barooga, and accommodation and dining options in the area meant it was a good fit.

Mr Harnes said now it was up to local groups to work together in organising their venues and sports for competition.

‘‘The number of accessible sporting facilities there are really quite impressive,’’ he said.

‘‘There is an indoor pool at Barooga and an outdoor pool in Cobram.

‘‘There are lots of ovals and other facilities, and a lot of accommodation — which is needed to house people over the week.’’

Mr Harnes said the event, in November each year, brought great benefits to participants.

They take on track and field, swimming, team sports and indoor sports events across the week.

Mr Harnes said a host town could also benefit significantly through commercial avenues.

‘‘It’s really good for the business community as well because during that week there can be 400 people visiting who are booking accommodation and using cafes and visiting other places,’’ he said.

Barooga Sports Club’s Mick O’Dwyer wrote a submission to get the games to the area, and he said there were countless benefits.

‘‘There is an economic benefit because you’re potentially talking about hundreds of competitors and their carers coming here,’’ Mr O’Dwyer said.

‘‘There is a general tourism benefit in exposing Cobram-Barooga attractions and sporting facilities — and there is the possibility of gaining more sporting events down the track.

‘‘The committee thought it was really great the local community could offer these facilities and were very impressed with what they saw.’’

Providing All Living Supports employs people with a disability in the Cobram area.

Support worker Gary Pizzini said a local event would allow more clients to attend without the high costs and time of travelling.

He said it would be a great benefit to the area, fantastic for businesses and help promote and raise awareness of PALS.

The Tri State Games is in Murray Bridge, South Australia this year and 2014 and in Horsham in 2015 and 2016.

Meet a Cobram man who collects and crushes aluminium cans to raise money to send people to the Tri State Games — page 11.

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