BALLARAT has proved itself a sporting city of international proportions in the past three days.
And no we're not talking about the success of our competing athletes.
Through our efforts with the basketball, we have proved, once again, that major international events do not have to be held exclusively in Melbourne.
Capacity crowds turned out at the Minerdome on Saturday night and again last night to watch the cream of the Commonwealth's basketballers take to the court.
To those in the know, it would come as no surprise that Ballarat can host such an event so successfully.
Our international sporting resumaace has its origins as far back as 1956, when we hosted rowing and kayaking events as part of the Melbourne Olympic Games.
In the years since, we have welcomed international cricketers, deaf athletes and veteran athletes, among others, to our city and they have repaid our hospitality with high-level displays of their sporting skills.
And, when we are not hosting international talent, a fair share on national talent has been on offer.
The economic benefits these sporting events bring to our city are untold. Certainly, they are as important to us as tourism is in helping our economy grow. At every turn we must identify and pursue opportunities which will
further strengthen our reputation as a fine city in which to conduct the business of sport.
Please excuse a little self-indulgence
EXCUSE us if we appear parochial in our celebration of Ballarat's success at the Commonwealth Games this week.
Shooter Russell Mark kicked off our glory on Sunday afternoon when he and Craig Trembath won the men's double trap pairs.
Then, yesterday, Jared Tallent excelled himself to take out a bronze medal in the men's 20km walk.
Ballarat's adopted daughter Lauryn Mark, wife of Russell, reaffirmed her talents with a gold in the women's skeet pairs final, while last night at the pool, Shayne Reese was part of the women's 4x100m freestyle team's gold-
These medals are the results of years of hard work and dedication from not only the athletes themselves, but their support teams and their families. We trust they will all enjoy basking in this well-deserved glory.