City primed for gather round

City primed for gather round

Mount Gambier will celebrate all things footy in the lead up to the AFL Gather Round with ‘Before the Bounce’ community activities to be held from March 23 until April 7.

More than 40,000 people are expected to travel through Mount Gambier on the way to the Gather Round in Adelaide.

To make the most of the visitors, the Mount Gambier City Council will kick off Before the Bounce, a program of footy based events and activities to be held throughout the city designed to capitalise on the influx of visitors.

Mount Gambier Mayor Lynette Martin OAM said she was excited for the city to get involved with the hugely successful Gather Round.

“We are a proud sporting city with a particular love for Australian Rules Football,” she said.

“We are a destination in our own right and we welcome visitors who are making the pilgrimage to Adelaide for the Gather Round to kick start their footy weekend, play and stay in our city,” she said.

Economy, Strategy and Engagement manager Biddie Shearing said Before the Bounce leveraged the timing of school holidays and coinciding events such as Fringe Mount Gambier.

“We aim to maximise visitor participation and boost the local economy while celebrating our city’s vibrant sporting culture and the essence of Australian Rules Football,” she said.

Riddoch Arts and Culture Centre Director Ashleigh Whatling said the centre will lead the charge with a creative space called ‘Straight to the Pool Room!’.

“This immersive experience will focus on the fans and families of regional football and will feature Naracoorte resident Andy Munro’s extensive football guernsey collection, a guernsey design competition, footy card selfies and other activities tailored for every age group,” she said.

The Riddoch will also host a film screening of the beloved 1980s football classic, ‘The Club’ presented by Mount Gambier’s own Drag King Loveit Murray on March 27 at 6pm.

Library and Community Development manager Georgina Davison said the Mount Gambier Library will lean into the footy flashback theme, reflecting on some of the local legends within our community and stories from days gone by.

Community members are encouraged to take part and bring in some of their own memorabilia to share.

“We will also host a pom pom craft activity and find the football competition with an AFL football signed by Geelong Cat’s player Brad Close,” she said.

SANFL will host a free junior footy clinic facilitated by SANFL game development staff at Frew Park on March 28 at 4.30pm including a special display featuring the SANFL and 2024 AFL Premiership Cups.

Businesses and the community are encouraged to ‘wear your colours’ on the Friday of the Gather Round on April 5.

Mayor Martin said council was working closely with South Australian Tourism Commission, AFL and SANFL to bring Before the Bounce activities to the community.

“Council staff have done a fabulous job to pull together this event program for our residents and visitors to enjoy,” Mayor Martin said.

Find out further information at Before the Bounce.

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