Events galore on the Bellarine

City of Greater Geelong mayor Trent Sullivan. (supplied)

The range of events held in our region is considerable.

Whether it be major festivals that draw people from across the world or smaller, hyperlocal occasions, the City of Greater Geelong has a well-earned reputation for hosting events.

In recent times we have seen the Festival of Sails and Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race attract thousands of people to our region, with a focus on the waterfront.

That will be the case again this weekend with the 70.3 Ironman, an event that stretches and tests the strength and endurance of all competitors in the water, on their bikes and on land.

However, another sporting event set to be run closer to home will also take place this weekend when the Senior Victorian Life Saving Championships are held at Ocean Grove.

These titles will see more than 750 athletes and their families call our region home for the weekend.

From a competitive perspective, the fact we have such amazing beaches and facilities right on our doorstep is a blessing because it means athletes from our region have an understanding of the conditions they will be faced with, providing an advantage others may well be envious of.

But from a holistic approach, bringing such a large volume of people to the Bellarine has large flow-on effects.

There are serious economic benefits to having competitors, their families, their supporters, and friends, staying in Greater Geelong.

From the beaches to the wineries, our art galleries and restaurants, all businesses see the benefits of our events program, regardless of how big or small they might be.

I want to take this opportunity to congratulate the Ocean Grove Surf Life Saving Club, not only on the work it has done to create such a welcoming environment and its track record of hosting events such as this over many years, but for celebrating its 75-year anniversary late last year.

The club has been home to many young locals who have learnt to swim and surf and gone on to guard the beach and we are so grateful for their work.

Council was proud to support Life Saving Victoria in its 2024 budget, allocating $47,500 to support lifeguard services on coastal beaches.

I trust the weekend will be yet another success for the Ocean Grove Surf Life Saving Club and am confident it will yet again enhance our reputation for being an events city.