April 8, 2015

The EnergyAustralia Australasian Club Championships Inline Hockey Tournament is lining up to pass up to $700,000 into Gippsland's economy over the Easter break this year.

More than 300 players in 34 teams will hit the rink at Stadium 34 in Moe from Good Friday, 3 April to Easter Monday, 6 April.

All teams will be vying for the major Pro Division prize of $2000, which is provided by EnergyAustralia as part of its sponsorship of the event. The sponsorship also provides referee uniforms, maintenance and cleaning during the event.

Stadium 34 owner and manager Matt Beatson said the tournament attracts players from across Australia because it is the only one of its kind that offers such a lucrative prize.

"EnergyAustralia's sponsorship allows us to draw players and spectators from all around the country, making for a dynamic display of competition," Mr Beatson said.

Players from 14 interstate teams will travel to Moe for the event, and many others will travel from other parts of Victoria.

Latrobe City Council estimates the tournament will contribute between $600,000 and $700,000 to the local economy directly and indirectly through goods and services including accommodation and hospitality for the influx of visitors.

Latrobe City Council's mayor, Councillor Dale Harriman, said this EnergyAustralia-sponsored tournament was a valuable event on the Valley's busy sporting calendar.

"Hosting an event of this calibre ensures that we can show off our city and our facilities to the hundreds of visitors who will spend the weekend here," Cr Harriman said.

"We also hope that our local residents will support the event – it's a great opportunity to see top class sporting action up close."

EnergyAustralia Community Partnerships Coordinator Meredith Bowden said sponsoring one of the Latrobe Valley's major sporting events aligned with EnergyAustralia's commitment to support local communities.

"At EnergyAustralia, we think it's important to nurture events that help the local communities in which we operate to prosper - whether it's through tourism and hospitality or simply encouraging physical activity," Mrs Bowden said.

Latrobe City Council conducted an economic impact study into the tournament in 2013, estimating a direct and indirect economic benefit of $498,000. The Council's current estimate is based on increased number of teams and expected growth in spectator numbers.