NEWS | OLYMPIAN ASHLEIGH SOUTHERN ANNOUNCES 2018 QUEENSLAND COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS TO BE HOSTED IN TOWNSVILLE

Townsville local and two-time Olympian, Ashleigh Southern, today announced that Townsville will host the 2018 Queensland Country Championships. Hosted by Water Polo Queensland in partnership with the Townsville Water Polo Association, the city will welcome teams from across regional Queensland to Long Tan Memorial Park Pool from 9th to 11th February 2018.

The annual Queensland Country Championships provides regions with the opportunity to compete against their regional rivals from across the State and for players to be selected for Queensland Country Representative teams.

Townsville will be looking to build on the successful 2017 tournament held in Mackay where teams traveled from the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Rockhampton and Townsville for the competition.

“The Country Championships is an event that we always look forward to and our teams train hard throughout the year for the competition. We’re looking forward to welcoming teams from across the state to Townsville, it should be a great weekend of water polo. We’re also looking forward to competing in front of a home crowd and we encourage the locals to get behind their team.” said Townsville Water Polo Association President, Logan Ballantyne.

Continuing their support of local events, Townsville Enterprise Limited have thrown their support behind the Country Championships. “Townsville Enterprise is thrilled to assist in bringing the 2018 Queensland Country Water Polo Championships to Townsville through funding supplied by the Townsville North Queensland Bid Fund,” Tourism & Events Director Bridget Woods said.

“It’s anticipated that this event will inject an estimated $409,000 into the Townsville North Queensland economy. The Championships provides Townsville with the opportunity to showcase our fantastic swimming facilities, as well as our amazing dining and tourism experiences. Given the significant contribution that events provide the local economy and their ability to have direct and positive impacts on visitation, Townsville Enterprise considers events as one of the regions greatest tourism assets.”
The Country Championships provides players with another pathway to compete at a State and National level with powerful players such as Ashleigh Southern (2012 London, 2016 Rio Olympics) and Elle Armit (2017 FINA World League Gold Medalist) hailing from the region.

“My water polo career started in Townsville and I have some really fond memories of playing here. As a regional team, the Country Championships were an important part of our season. Not only could we play against other regional teams but we also had the opportunity to tour with a Queensland representative team, which was a lot of fun. We’re a sports-mad city and it’s great to see Townsville hosting the Country Championships, it’s a great event and I know there will be some great support over the weekend.” said two-time Olympian Ashleigh Southern.

Water Polo Queensland Chief Executive Officer, Robert Donaghue added, “Taking our game to more people and more communities across Queensland is central to our vision for the sport over the next three years and hosting these championships in Townsville provides us with a great opportunity to continue to develop our regional players, coaches and referees and showcase the skill, athleticism and excitement of water polo to the local community.

We’re really looking forward to Townsville hosting this year’s tournament for what should be an exciting weekend of competition in one of Queensland’s iconic regional cities.”

Further details regarding schedule, fixtures, and teams will be released at a later date via www.waterpoloqld.com.au

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