High praise for sport-mad Coffs
By BRAD GREENSHIELDS
FOOTBALL'S national governing body has given Coffs Harbour a glowing 'thumbs up' for its role in the successful hosting of the recent Qantas Girls National Youth Championships.
Football Federation Australia (FFA) manager of Football Services, Alan Vessey, paid tribute to the 'excellent presentation' of the championships and commented that this reflected well on the Coffs community.
The operations manager for Northern NSW Football, Alan Nisbet, came in for special praise in the letter.
Nisbet was quick to point out the role that Coffs Harbour played in the successful tournament.
"The Coffs Stadium provided a playing surface and facilities that was far superior to anything that has ever been delivered for the National Championships in previous years," he said.
"The facility is a great credit to the Coffs community and the Coffs Harbour City Council is to be congratulated on their investment in such a top- class stadium."
Coffs Harbour Sports Unit manager, Ben Payne, is delighted that the recent tournament has further strengthened council's relationship with both the FFA and Northern NSW Football.
He also estimated that the economic benefit to the area from the girls championships is somewhere in the vicinity of $1.68 million.
"When you consider the coaches, support staff, families, spectators and the players themselves are around town enjoying themselves, eating, drinking, shopping at supermarkets and paying for accommodation, it's a terrific benefit to the region," Payne added.
"This figure takes us a little bit closer to the magical $40 million a year that we're aiming for.
"We're delighted to have the championships for the next three years."
The Qantas National Youth Championships have been secured for the Coffs Coast International Stadium until 2008 with this year's boys national championships getting underway from September 30 and concluding on October 7.