Some of the country's best basketballers are set to converge on Ballarat later this month for the NBL 3x3 Big Hustle National Championships.
The tournament will be hosted at the Ballarat Sports and Events Centre's newly-constructed outdoor 3x3 courts on January 22 and 23.
The event features an exciting new format of basketball that made its Olympic debut in Tokyo last year with two teams of three playing on half a basketball court with the first team to 21 winning, similar to half-court rules played on outdoor courts around the world.
Ballarat deputy mayor Amy Johnson said the event was a great addition to the city's busy sporting calendar.
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"We've got an incredible fixture of events occurring in Ballarat in the first half of this year, including the AFL, AFLW, WNBL, we've got the Road National Cycling Championships and we've also got the NBL 3x3 Big Hustle National Championships happening here as well," she said.
"This event is an absolute boost for the Ballarat economy with around 2000 people expected to visit the city during the course of the competition. This will see an increased number of people visiting our cafes and restaurants, our accommodation providers, and injecting money into our local economy."
The new courts are part of the $5.2 million stage two development of the Ballarat Sports and Events Centre and are in the final stages of completion.
The final touches are currently being made to the courts with the acrylic surface being applied ahead of the official opening on Friday, January 21. The courts will be fully operational in time for the tournament.
Cr Johnson said the new courts would allow Ballarat to host national-level competitions and residents to play on the courts.
"The purpose of investing in sporting and recreational infrastructure is two pronged in that it is not only with the end goal in mind of improving community health and wellbeing, but also that it allows us to host national events such as these which we know are incredibly important to our local economy," she said.
"One of my favourite things about hosting events such as this is it gives an opportunity to local people to see high-level and elite sportspeople and I know this can be incredibly inspiring and is linked to an overall uptake in sporting participation in cities that host events such as these."
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