Let the games begin: Footy fever kicks off bumper sports season
Sports enthusiasts are in for a treat, with some of Australia’s top athletes set to descend on Townsville for a trifecta of world-class sport over coming weeks – in addition to the city’s usual feast of National Rugby League fixtures.
Kicking off the fun tonight, the Cowboys will take on Wests Tigers in what promises to be a thrilling clash between the two rivals.
The NRL game will be followed tomorrow by the first ever AFL Premiership season match to be held in Townsville, with the Gold Coast Suns set to host St Kilda in their Round 13 clash at Riverway Stadium.
Both teams and their entourages will fly into Townsville Airport on specially-chartered Virgin Australia flights ahead of their Saturday afternoon clash. Their game will be followed by a bonus match between North Queensland and South Queensland in the 4.30pm twilight time slot.
“We are delighted to host the Gold Coast Suns and St Kilda Football Club in what promises to be a bumper weekend for Townsville and the AFL,” said Townsville Airport Chief Operating Officer Kevin Gill.
“The weekend of footy kicks off a month-long sporting extravaganza for Townsville, including the 2019 Oceania Athletics Association Championships in late June and the V8 Supercars motor racing event in early July.
“We will be treated to some world-class competition, with some of the region’s top athletics competitors – including Australian Olympic champion Sally Pearson – set to descend on our city for what is shaping up to be the biggest ever Oceania Athletics Championships. A record number of more than 700 athletes and 220 officials from 22 countries are expected to take part in the four-day event from June 25 – 28.
“And then a week later, we will be treated to North Queensland’s biggest annual sporting event in the V8 Supercars, which includes top entertainment from Australian rock legends Icehouse and Killing Heidi.
“This is great news for tourism operators in Townsville and we are looking forward to what is sure to be a positive boost to our regional economy.
“To have such high-calibre sport all within the same month is a first for Townsville and we are looking forward to it.”