Photo: Patrick Case on Pexels.

Some of the world’s best athletes could travel through Mitchell Shire as the neighbouring Strathbogie Shire Council makes a bid to host 2026 Commonwealth Games rowing events at Lake Nagambie.

In a statement last week council said it was ready, willing and able to host high-level rowing events and that such a move ‘just makes sense’.

Olympic rowing gold medallist Lucy Stephan threw her weight behind the push to bring the Commonwealth Games to the Nagambie Lakes Regatta Centre after using it as a training base ahead of the delayed 2021 Tokyo Olympics.

“Lake Nagambie is an inspiring two-kilometre course and a location which helped me to prepare for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and to reach my crew’s goal for gold,” she said.

“I absolutely support Strathbogie Shire Council’s proposal to host the Commonwealth Games 2026 rowing event.”

Strathbogie Shire Council Mayor Laura Binks said council was advocating to the State Government to first include rowing as a sport in the games and then commit to hosting it at the Nagambie Lakes Regatta Centre.

“Although rowing is an optional Commonwealth Games sport, it is one of Australia’s oldest and most successful sports and we believe the Nagambie Lakes Regatta Centre provides the perfect place to feature this event,” she said.

“Australia successfully secured two rowing gold medals at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games against 79 nations, of which 54 Commonwealth nations are eligible to participate in rowing events in 2026.

“The international popularity and interest in rowing, and the 2026 Commonwealth Games in Victoria, provides an opportunity to bring rowing back to the international spotlight in the spectacular and inspiring setting of the Nagambie Lakes Regatta Centre.”

Cr Binks encouraged local businesses and community groups keen to be a part of the Victoria 2026 Commonwealth Games to submit ideas for how they could contribute.

“The Victorian Government has an expression of interest form on its 2026 Commonwealth Games webpage where you can ask questions and submit ideas,” she said.

“I encourage all interested people to share their views or send their support for rowing to be held at the Nagambie Lakes Regatta Centre.”

People wishing to support council’s bid to bring rowing to the 2026 Commonwealth Games and Lake Nagambie can visit www.strathbogie.vic.gov.au and click on Council/Advocacy to learn how to help.

“On our web page we’ve developed some social media suggestions and a letter of support that you can share and use to show your support,” Cr Binks said.

“I encourage you to jump online and grab some of the social media collateral to share or a letter to send to the decision-makers to let them know rowing and the Commonwealth Games must come to Lake Nagambie.”

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