We’re a sports capital for kids

NOTHING compares with the Country Cup for Michael Stanton.

Stanton, the Lauren Jackson Sports Centre manager and Albury Council’s leisure facilities team leader, said the basketball tournament was the Border’s biggest annual junior sporting event.

“Six days of competition certainly is our busiest week of the year,” Stanton said yesterday.

“We have other busy tournaments but they are usually for a weekend or three days.

“But this one, using 12 courts in two cities, nothing really compares with the Country Cup.”

This year’s cup has a whopping 720 players and 72 teams, with many bringing more than one family member.

The council says the cup pours millions into the cities’ economy.

“There have been some figures of about that $5 million mark but it’s very hard to put a figure on it,” Stanton, 39, said.

“We get a lot of businesses wanting to get involved in the week.

“In general, Albury certainly punches above its weight in terms of the number and size of the events it hosts.”

Next on the Lauren Jackson Sports Centre calendar is Wodonga Basketball Association’s junior invitational tournament next month, followed by the Australian under-15 volleyball championships in April.

Stanton said Albury-Wodonga was one of the premier regional centres in Australia for junior sporting events.

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