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    ICONIC: Central Park curator Kevin Rickard prepares the hallowed turf in March for the 2020 Stawell Gift, which was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER

Five-year sponsorship deal for Stawell Gift

The Stawell Gift has taken a major step in securing its long-term future by signing a five-year deal with naming-rights sponsor Powercor.

Victorian Tourism, Sport and Major Events Minister Martin Pakula confirmed the agreement as preparations continue for the return of Australian’s most professional foot race to Stawell’s Central Park in April next year.

Next year’s Powercor Stawell Gift will be the 139th after officials were forced to cancel this year’s event due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The gift carnival is an iconic Easter tradition and has produced some of the biggest moments in Australian sport.

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International athletes including Sydney 2000 gold medallist Catherine Freeman, renowned sprinters Asafa Powell and Maurice Greene and middle-distance champion Craig Mottram have all competed in the race.

The State Government has provided $1.22-million across four years to the Stawell Gift to help generate growth of the Wimmera athletics carnival.

As well as the Powercor sponsorship, officials have maintained equal prizemoney for men and women and confirmed a broadcast agreement with Seven Network. In August this year, a new management board formed to run the event, which traditionally welcomes thousands of people to the Wimmera annually.

Mr Pakula said the Stawell Gift was an iconic event in Australian sport that had a special meaning for so many people.

“This partnership ensures that the gift will remain a fixture of Victoria’s Easter long weekend for many years to come,” he said.

Stawell Gift Event Management chair Stephanie Spence said Powercor had a major presence in regional Victoria, ‘making them an ideal partner to power us into the future’. 

The entire December 2, 2020 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!