AFL Masters player John Holmquest in action.
AFL Masters player John Holmquest in action. Pine Creek Pictures.

Coffs Coast kicking goals after masterful tournament

COFFS Harbour could see itself come a regular fixture on the AFL Masters circuit following the success of the 2018 AFL Masters National Carnival held in the city earlier this month.

AFL Masters General Manager Neil King hailed the city's first stint at hosting the event as a big success.

The tournament has been running annually for more than 30 years and was secured for the region by the NSW Government's tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW and local AFL officials.

King said the event is held in a different State each year, usually in the first week of October and attracts almost 1000 players and a further six hundred officials and supporters.

"The event was held in Geelong last year and the Gold Coast the year before," King explained.

"Two years ago we were approached by Dan Perry and Brian Stirling about bringing the event to Coffs Harbour."

He said the city was able to tick all the boxes required to host the event from sporting facilities and accommodation to things to do while people were there.

King said it was also thanks to the support of Destination NSW and the Coffs City Council the event had been a great success in the Coastal city.

"Coffs performed so well we would certainly consider coming here again," King admitted.

"We have carried out impact studies every year since 2002 which show an injection of three to four million into the Coffs economy."

The tournament attracts players from every state and across numerous age divisions from Over 35s to Over 60s. "We had 45 teams plying three games through out the week," King said.

"Coffs marks the third year we have had a women's division."

Member for Coffs Harbour Andrew Fraser said the event, which is the largest mass participation event for AFL players over 35 years of age, had provided a significant boost to the local economy.

"There are approximately 1,200 players, officials and supporters calling Coffs Harbour home for the next week or so, dining in our cafes and restaurants, shopping in our boutiques and enjoying our beaches, parks and local hospitality," he said.

"Coffs Harbour is renowned for delivering world-class event experiences. We have received an International Festivals and Events Association World Festival and Event City Award the past three years running and have hosted major international events including Rally Australia and One Day Internationals as part of last year's Women's Ashes Series.

"The leading ladies of world golf have also called the Coffs Coast home with the Australian Ladies Classic - Bonville, and the Women's NSW Open Golf Championship. 

"The NSW Government is committed to ensuring regional NSW gets its fair share of the State's rapidly growing tourism pie, and investment in events such as the AFL Masters National Carnival helps to further strengthen Coffs Harbour's position as a leading major events destination."


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