Narromine Gliding Club to host World Gilding Championships in 2023

SOARING: The Narromine Gilding Club have successfully won the bid to host World Gliding Championships 2022. Photo: ZAARKACHA MARLAN
SOARING: The Narromine Gilding Club have successfully won the bid to host World Gliding Championships 2022. Photo: ZAARKACHA MARLAN

The Narromine Gliding Club has been selected to host the World Gliding Championships 2022. 

The volunteer-run club of about six active members has successfully had their bid chosen to host the international event, which will run in January 2023. 

Honorary Treasurer of the Narromine Gliding Club Beryl Hartley said the club was "excited" to host the event, and would have plenty of work to do in the lead up to the event. 

"It's a fantastic thing for us, it puts Australia on the map," she said.

"Our club is just a small club, but we've got a lot of energy."

While the World Gliding Championships are allocated for 2022 it was decided the event would be held in January 2023 to allow international teams to ship gliders and spend time at home during the Christmas holidays. 

The club is not new to hosting international events, having hosted the World Junior Gliding Championships in 2015, which Ms Hartley said was a trial for the larger event. 

"I guess at that stage we were looking to see if we had the capacity for it, because it's a big event, the people are all here for a minimum of a month and some of them for longer periods of time, so while Narromine's quite a small village we thought let's see if we can do this," she said.

After a successful year, the club decided to start their bid for the next international tournament. 

The event is set to take over the Narromine Aerodrome from January 4 until January 21 in 2023, and is expected to bring a massive tourism boost for the region.

Ms Hartley said the event would draw people from almost 30 countries from across the world, and with that will be bringing pilots, crews, medical teams, scorers, management and families. 

"Some of the teams are 30 people, some are a little smaller, some of the smaller countries might only send two pilots. But some of the big teams are 30 to 40 people," she said.

Looking toward the event, Ms Hartley said the influx of people would not only benefit Narromine and Trangie, but will certainly boost tourism in Dubbo. 

"The last one we had put $2 million into the economy, can you imagine what this one's going to do," she said.

"Accommodation is starting to book already, I can't believe it but the tourist park that's on the airfield took their first bookings on Monday.

"We are looking at it already and know Narromine itself is too small to hold all those people, however one of our big selling points is that Dubbo is only 20 minutes away.

She also said last time the club hosted the World Junior Championships, their major sponsor Destination NSW surveyed the visitors, discovering almost 75 percent stayed to holiday in NSW or Australia while they were here. 

"The other nice thing is these people come all this way to Australia in the summer to do this, they do the gliding championships but they also have a holiday while they're here too."

The event is expected to bring a massive two years for the region, with Ms Hartley explaining the club would also be hosting the Pre-World Gliding Championships in January 2022, in preparation for the major event. 

"We will have 50 percent of pilots come the year before to practice at this site. Then the following year we will have the real World Gliding Championships," Ms Hartley said.

"We'll start to see a lot of action happening in Narromine from this next summer, because we'll start to see the Europeans come check out the site, get their accommodation booked, and start making plans for being here, and just practising.

"So we'll have two huge years.

"It's going to be an enormous challenge for us, but we've got a few years to put it in place."