25 November 2020
By SANFL Media
The Great Southern Football League and Victor Harbor Council have been announced as the hosts of the 2021 Think! Road Safety SA Country Football Championships, to be held next July.
Victor Harbor will welcome some 500 players, umpires and volunteers, as well as thousands of spectators, across the weekend of July 10-11 following its successful bid to host the return of the Championships next year.
To be played at Victor Harbor and Encounter Bay football club ovals, the event – cancelled in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic – will see SA’s best male and female country footballers come together to represent their region across the two-day carnival.
SANFL also is intending to program a SANFL Statewide Super League regional match in the 2021 fixture as part of the event on the back of the success of the 2019 Country Championships in Port Pirie which featured a SANFL regional match for the first time.
SANFL Head of Community Football Lisa Faraci said the Championships would provide significant economic and social benefits for all clubs in the Great Southern Football League as well as the wider Victor Harbor community.
“The Country Championships have become a significant event for community football in regional South Australia over the years and we’re thrilled to be planning for its return in 2021,” Ms Faraci said.
“Regional communities and footy clubs have been doing it tough this year, so this is an exciting opportunity to increase participation, bring people together and assist regional footy on its road to recovery.
“This will also be a fantastic opportunity for Encounter Bay Football Club to capitalise on its new $975,000 facility, to be completed early next year.”
Lisa Faraci, SANFL Head of Community Football
"Regional communities and footy clubs have been doing it tough this year, so this is an exciting opportunity to increase participation, bring people together and assist regional footy on its road to recovery."
This will be the first time the Great Southern Football League will host the Think! Road Safety SA Country Championships.
Ms Faraci also acknowledged the continuing support of the Country Championships’ naming rights partner, Think! Road Safety, for Community Football in South Australia.
“The State Government’s support, through its Think! Road Safety brand, for regional football across South Australia has been unwavering, even throughout such a challenging year,” Ms Faraci said.
“Without this valuable partnership, which also helps to drive home the vital message and education about road safety via our football community, events such as the Country Championships would not be possible.”
Great Southern Football League President Terry Corcoran said the Southern Districts Zone community, including Southern Football League and Kangaroo Island Football League, were “genuinely excited” about hosting the event in 2021.
“These championships will give the Fleurieu Peninsula an opportunity to put our hospitality on display to the South Australian football community and we welcome the Country Football Zones to our backyard,” Mr Corcoran said.
“I assure all of the Zones that the GSFL clubs and their great band of volunteers, along with the Victor Harbor community, will go out of their way to make their visit an enjoyable one.”
Chief Executive Officer of the City of Victor Harbor Victoria MacKirdy said the championships provide an opportunity to showcase the city, particularly its great sporting facilities and tourism offerings.
“It will also provide a significant injection into our local economy with around 4,500-5,000 footballers, officials and supporters expected to descend on Victor Harbor during our traditionally quieter winter period,” Ms MacKirdy said.
“The Great Southern Football League and all of those who worked tirelessly to secure this event for Victor Harbor and the region are to be commended.”