19/01/2015 - 10:40

Youth games chasing corporate contribution

19/01/2015 - 10:40

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The annual youth Friendship Games will go ahead in Perth this week, despite organisers securing only half the targeted number of participants.

The annual youth Friendship Games will go ahead in Perth this week, despite organisers securing only half the targeted number of participants.

Founded by former Olympian Andrew Vlahov, the international event will be held in Perth and Shanghai annually under an alternate schedule for the next 10 years, as part of a deal signed with the Shanghai Sports Bureau.

Mr Vlahov confirmed to Business News that, at last count, the organisers had secured 329 participants, well short of the revised target of 600 local and international competitors.

With a range of sponsors already signed on to the event, including Perth Glory and a number of government departments, Mr Vlahov has called for involvement from the corporate sector to sponsor a young athlete, starting at $599, to participate in the event.

“We’ve approached a few (corporates) but it’s pretty tight out there because of the mining downturn,” Mr Vlahov said.

A pilot event was first held in Perth in 2012, followed by Shanghai in 2013, with 2015 representing the first expanded version of the games.

“This is the architecture of where we want to be able to go from a growth point of view, so we can organically grow it with our resources available,” Mr Vlahov said.

As part of the eight-day event, participants will experience sports clinics, Aboriginal performances, and other cultural activities.

Mr Vlahov has a history of forming sporting-related alliance with Asian nations through RV Sports, the company he founded with former Sydney Kings owner Paul Robertson, under which the Friendship Games is run.

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