UNDERWATER photography and an evening of bridge are among the more unique events to feature in this year’s South West Games.
And traditional sports such as hockey, soccer, athletics and karate have attracted strong entries as the 30th annual Games gain momentum.
The South West Games officially got under way last Friday night and wrap up on Sunday.
More than 600 people are taking part in about 60 events, and organisers estimate a boost of $600,000 to the south-west Victorian economy.
South West Sport executive officer Mike Neoh said he had been buoyed by the response to the Games from event organisers and participants.
He said the presence of Camperdown Paralympic gold medallist Josh Hose at events last weekend had been a hit.
“The key to the Games is there are so many sports that go on that are unnoticed,” he said.
“A lot of the sport tourism — not just the South West Games but during the year — is from clubs who will run championships or titles.
“A good example is the BMX at the weekend.
“It wasn’t a Games event — they’ve got theirs coming.
“But there are so many minor sports that bring people into town.
“The South West Games highlight that over the Games’ period.”
Neoh said the scuba diving photography event, on Sunday, highlighted the diversity.
“I went and had a look at their website and there were some brilliant photos taken,” he said.
“When we talk about sport we talk about traditional sports, but active recreation — there are a lot of things that come under that banner.”
The Warrnambool District Hockey Association is staging three days of competition.
It is the most popular sport on the program.
More than 600 people will have stepped onto the Albert Park courts by the end of this weekend.
WDHA president Tomas Tait said 22 teams would compete in the men’s and women’s competitions this weekend, with matches running from 8am until potentially 10pm.
“We’re running two grounds — our turf and we’re also running the old ground three, which is good in a way,” he said.
“Grass hockey is completely different to turf hockey.”