COUNCIL has been approached by the Northern Inland Academy of Sport [NIAS] for a $25,000 hand out.
Hosts of the National Primary Games for the last four years, NIAS is on the hunt for major sponsorship from Tamworth Regional Council.
“That’s not all cash,” NIAS chief executive James Cooper said.
“We’re looking for contribution in cash and facilities in-kind.”
The event brings an estimated $2.3 million to the city each year and at least 2000 children.
With the addition of rugby union this year, NIAS needs more room to stretch its legs and met with council on Monday.
But, with the council’s budget expected to be at least $1.5 million in the red this financial year – the money could be tough to find.
Mayor Col Murray reckons councillors will try their hardest.
“Council will, I imagine, find some way of funding the primary games, it’s so important to our business community in particular,” he said.
“At this point in time we are putting our budget together for the next financial year.
“We are looking at a $1.5 million deficit now, we’re trying to reign back our costs and efficiencies in the order of one-and-a-half million dollars.”
For the last eight years Cr Murray served as mayor the council has budgeted modest surpluses.
Documents have been submitted to council to support the financial request.
One is a 23-page evaluation of the primary games in 2018, the second a proposal for a major partnership that incorporates both the academy and the games.
The growth of the games and its continuation in Tamworth hinges somewhat on financial support from the council.
“We have made a commitment at NIAS to have a strong presence in Tamworth, our core business is to hold The National Primary Games based on their economic impact,” Mr Cooper said.
“The great part about Tamworth is we have fantastic facilities that allow for serious growth, there’s no real limit on how big it could be.
“At the minute Tamworth Regional Council have been great with support over the four years.”
The games will be in Tamworth again this year and the council has provided significant in-kind support with the use of facilities and sports fields in the past.
The facility use last year saved NIAS at least $15,000 in rental fees, but with a growing offering the organisation hopes to add more fields across the riverside to the repertoire.
It has asked for $10,000 support of the event in cash.
The growth is not expected to be rapid, but Mr Cooper hopes to sustainably expand the event with an investment of more space and time.
“We’d love for it to come to fruition but we can’t comment on whether it will or won’t,” he said.
“For us, we’re lucky in Tamworth that we have a proactive council not only for sports events and tourism but across the board.
“With a 100,000 population target on the radar for them and pilot schools to generate jobs there’s a lot on the horizon – we have a great working relationship with them and it’s one we’ve had for a long time.”
It’s unclear when a decision will be made on the fund request, but the National Primary Games are on in Tamworth July 20 and 21.