Footy’s pulling power

INFLUX: Clare Scriven is excited to see the numbers of visitors Gather Round brought to SA.

It was another incredible week for our state, as we shone in the national spotlight with a fantastic AFL Gather Round weekend showcasing the very best of South Australia.

We all know some of the finest parts of the state are our regions, so it was excellent to see our regional communities benefit from the presence of Gather Round for another year.

From lunches, dinners, food and wine festivals, pop ups, activations, and everything in between, South Australian produce was as much a part of the festivities as the football itself, and one thing is clear, the many thousands of interstate visitors to our state couldn’t get enough of it!

Many thousands made the trip by car from the Eastern states, particularly Victoria which had school holidays.

Regions all the way from the border to the city saw a huge influx of travellers coming through, resulting in a boost to businesses and communities which shared in the excitement and benefit to our state that Gather Round brings.

The Gather Round Community Footy Roadshow kicked off again, stopping in 30 regional towns across 21 days, covering more than 4,000kms, and included the Riverland, Port Lincoln, Kangaroo Island,

Adelaide Hills, Barossa, Whyalla and finishing in Mount Gambier.

Visits to schools and clubs included four very important pieces of silverware – the AFL Men’s, and Women’s Premiership Cups, as well as the SANFL equivalents. It wasn’t too long ago that our accommodation hotels particularly in the regions were hardest hit during the pandemic, with closed borders and complex ongoing restrictions.

Last year’s Gather Round saw more than 25,000 visitor nights generated outside of Adelaide.

I look forward to seeing, the figures from this year’s event, which are expected to increase upon the phenomenal results last year.

Wishing everyone wonderful school holidays – I hope you can spend time and enjoy our beautiful local regions.

Clare Scriven

Member of the Legislative Council of South Australia