Sponsorship slam dunk

Sponsorship slam dunk

Opposition Leader David Speirs met with members of the Mount Gambier Pioneers last week to announce his sponsorship of the club and to celebrate the success of the team’s new home venue, the Wulanda Recreation and Convention Centre.

Mr Speirs and Shadow Assistant Minister for Regional South Australia and Mount Gambier local Ben Hood will have a sign acknowledging their support displayed at home games during this season.

The Pioneers have called Wulanda home for a year now and it has been a game-changer for the club who outgrew their previous base, the Icehouse, where they played for 34 seasons.

Community action and a groundswell of support helped make Wulanda possible, with joint funding from the former State and Federal Liberal Governments, partnering with the City of Mount Gambier, bringing it to life.

The $62.5m project was supported with $25m from former State and Federal Liberal Governments. Visiting the Pioneers’ homebase was one highlight of David Speirs’ three-day trip to the Limestone Coast, which also included the Generations In Jazz festival, a small and family business roundtable, meetings with stakeholders in the timber and dairy industries and promoting the Opposition’s new “Report Your Road” campaign.

Mr Speirs said he was proud to show his support for the Pioneers and see them thriving in their new home.

“It is great to be at Wulanda and to be able to come along and meet some of the Pioneers,” he said.

“Wulanda was not without its controversy but look at it now, it is not only home to the Pioneers, it is giving a future for swimming in this town, this region … and it is just the heartbeat of Mount Gambier in many ways.

“I have consistently congratulated those who proved the vision for this place forward over the last few years because without their tenacity and their belief in the vision for this place, it would not be here today and the Pioneers would still be shivering in the Icehouse.

“It’s exciting to see Wulanda – a project supported by the former Liberal Government – play a huge role in the Pioneers’ next chapter, as it gives them the opportunity to grow their fanbase and has created a great new experience for players and spectators alike.

“For a regional city like Mount Gambier, a sport like basketball is so much more than just a game – it’s also about creating vibrant, connected communities and providing opportunities for local talent to shine.”

Mr Speirs said you “certainly will” see him at a Pioneers home game in the near future cheering on the Mount Gambier team.

“I got to a game here last year and obviously I have a diary that is a constant wrestle, but I am hoping to get down in the next couple of months to a game on a Friday night and I am just working through that with the team.

“I will make sure I get down and they better get a win for me,” he said.

Pioneers board member Michael Kosch said he was thankful to Mr Spiers and Mr Hood for their support of the Pioneers and Wulanda.

“It has been a massive, positive and wonderful change for the Pioneers and the community,” he said.

“Quite honestly I think we have got the best facility in our league, of the 19 teams that we compete with, Wulanda in my view is the best.

“The club is continuing to grow, support is just growing and growing and Wulanda has just been a massive game changer for the Pioneers to taking us to the next level and has been a wonderful thing for us.”

Mr Hood, a former councillor who spearheaded the campaign for realising Wulanda, said the centre has proven to be a true asset for the local community.

“As a Mount Gambier local, it’s an honour to continue to back the Pioneers and witness first-hand the positive impact the Wulanda Recreation and Convention Centre has had on the team and our community,” Mr Hood said.

“I have been a sponsor of the Pioneers for over 15 years, and it’s fantastic to have David here in Mount Gambier also showing the club his support.

“Sporting clubs are incredibly important to our regions and I’m proud to play my part in seeing the Pioneers continue to succeed.

“To be able to partner with David to bring the Liberal team on board as a sponsor really warms my heart because I am a local, I bleed Pioneer passion and now David Speirs and the Liberal team will be doing the same.”

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