Geelong suffers $2m hit as 2020 Victorian Teachers’ Games cancelled

Geelong has been hit with a financial blow after the Victorian Teachers’ Games announced it will cancel this year’s event and postpone its 25th celebrations until next year.

Last year’s Games added around $2 million to the local economy.

“We are sorry to announce that due to the continuing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and the ongoing threat to health and wellbeing, the Victorian Teachers’ Games will not be going ahead in 2020,” the games’ organisers said in a statement.

“We are extremely disappointed that educators across the state will not get the opportunity to connect with their peers and enjoy the Games this year, but our priority is to keep Victorian teachers’ safe and healthy throughout this time.”

Speaking to the Geelong Advertiser, Tourism Greater Geelong and the Bellarine director Brett Ince said the announcement was one of a string cancellations that would cost the city “tens of millions”.

“I’m talking specifically what has been Geelong major events and funded per the city, then if you add in things like AFL games, smaller scale community events and alike, obviously that adds up further,” he said. “But it is one of those things that is hard to put a figure on.”

Last year the Games attracted 5500 participants from across Victoria in 46 events, with Geelong Mayor Stephanie Asher welcoming news was that it would return in 2021.

“Geelong hosted the very first Victorian Teachers’ Games 25 years ago and has now hosted the event successfully five times,” she told The Geelong Advertiser.

“We are thrilled to be the Host City for the 25th anniversary event, which will now be held in 2021.”