Dancesport Championship Secures Four More Years of Funding Sat 11 August 2012 Brian Wightman Member for Bass Embargoed until 8pm tonight. The Member for Bass, Brian Wightman, today launched the Tasmanian Open Dancesport Championship in Launceston and announced additional Government funding of $20 000 per annum through until the 2016 event. After a successful pilot event in 2009, Events Tasmania supported Dancesport Tasmania for the 2010, 2011 and 2012 championships, providing funding of $20 000 per year. "The Tasmanian Open Dancesport Championship has proven to be a fantastic event not only for our dancers, their friends, families and coaches, but also for the local region," Mr Wightman said. "It is now a nationally recognised ballroom dancing event and has been described as the 'not to be missed Event of the Year' in the Australian Dance Review. "As well as providing opportunities for people of all ages to become involved in Dancesport socially and competitively, the event offers Tasmanian audiences the chance to experience a display of this sport at its highest level." The two-day event includes workshops bringing the best Australian coaches to Launceston, and a floor show presented by Carmelo Pizzino from Dancing with the Stars and his partner Jess Raffer. "With Launceston's Silverdome as its new venue, this event has grown from a 200 person competition in 2009 to a 1200-1500 person event today, and has the capacity to host up to 5000 people in the future," Mr Wightman said. "This year sees competitors arriving from all over Australia and this influx of visitors provides a significant economic boost to local hotels, restaurants, and other services during the slower winter months. "Significantly one of the main goals for the future of this event is to seek out and develop new competitor markets overseas, which will result in an increase of international competitors in the coming years." Mr Wightman said the State Government through Events Tasmania was pleased to support the event and looked forward to the Tasmanian Open Dancesport Championship growing over the coming years. "Community, cultural and sporting events offer opportunities to deliver substantial on-the-ground benefits to businesses, in particular to the local hospitality and tourism sector. Regional development is a key focus of the Tasmanian Government's Economic Development Plan and an active and engaged community contributes to the liveability of a place, as well as to its economic potential.