Competitors to fire up as rural championships come to Bendigo for first time in 14 years

Bendigo will host its first Victorian Rural Fire Brigade Championships in 14 years in 2019.

The urban championships have been held in Bendigo more than 30 times, however the rural championships have not been held here since 2005.

The two events have never been held in the same city before.

Around 100 brigades from across Victoria will be represented in the championships.

The Victorian Rural Fire Brigade Championships attracts approximately 1000 competitors and 2000 support people and spectators. Seniors will compete on Saturday and juniors will compete on Sunday.

The event will be held on April 6 and 7, 2019 at the Tom Flood Sports Centre.

The council’s manager tourism and major events Terry Karamaloudis said the announcement was a coup for Bendigo.

“We have been working closely with the organising committee for about two years to bring this event to Bendigo,” he said.

“Like the urban championship event, the rural championships will bring thousands of new visitors to Bendigo for the weekend, which is great news for our accommodation providers, cafes, restaurants, bars and our economy generally,” Mr Karamaloudis said.

“Bendigo has an excellent track record for hosting state and national level events. Our extensive infrastructure, facilities like parks and gardens, excellent accommodation options, hospitality and diverse retail sector are all significant contributing factors when we are attracting and retaining major events.

“The city works hard to support event organisers to help make their event a success.”

CFA District 2 State Championship Committee Chairman Brendan Drechsler said he was very pleased the event would be held in Bendigo next year.

“Tom Flood Sports Centre is an outstanding venue and will be perfect for our event. With the support of the City of Greater Bendigo we are confident we will conduct a very successful state championship in 2019,” he said.

“We have held our championships at various locations across Victoria and we very pleased that both the urban and rural championships will be conducted in Bendigo in 2019.”