In the planning for more than two years, thanks to the COVID pandemic, the Bocce Australia (BA) board led by CEO/President Frank Funari recently meet with Sam Carbone, President of the Morwell IASC Club Board, along with some of his directors and the Bocce Australia committee lead, Sally Fava.
Also present was Wendy Hrynyszyn (Senior Events Officer at Latrobe City Council) and Bocce Victoria President David Marks.
In its 50 years of Bocce National Championships, it is the second time that the Bocce Nationals have been hosted in a regional centre and it will be the first time that the Senior Men and Women’s Championship will be held in Morwell, regional Victoria.
As a result, the Morwell Club has been doing enormous preparation and even organised an official’s viewing platform that overlooks the bocce drome, plus the construction of two additional courts in the adjacent property.
“It will be money well spent as the Nationals will bring a positive economic impact for the club and the community at large,” said BA Finance Director Vince Di Mauro.
It is a great coup for the Morwell Club, after years of lobbying. The BA board has chosen Morwell primarily because of its long participation history with the sport of bocce and the contribution that the club and the players have made since they joined the Bocce Federation.
The Bocce Nationals will run from Thursday, June 9 to Monday, June 13, 2022.
The tournament starts on Thursday afternoon with the Club Championship final between defending club title holders, Marconi Club against Veneto Club. Then, from Friday, June 10 it will be full swing into the men’s and women’s senior championships with all finals on Monday, June 13, 2022.
Frank Funari said the Italian Australian Club Morwell is a multi-purpose social, sporting and cultural complex, catering for everyone.
“The club epitomises Australia’s multiculturalism and has embraced all members of the community – the success of which can be seen in the diversity of membership. The club today is all that its founders would have dreamed it to be and is very much aligned to Bocce Australia’s purpose of having Bocce being played by all communities,” he said.
Franco Fava, chief curator for the bocce courts at the club, said: “The boccedrome is multi-purpose and can be easily converted from Bocce Volo to Bocce Raffa competitions and plans are underway to include a Petanque pitch on the outside.”
Bocce Australia’s Vice President Tony Biancacci said the venue offered by Morwell Club was “first class”.
“The venue has undercover bocce courts, many great club facilities, good food and an excellent value-for-money bistro, a fun sports members bar, pokies and great volunteers. The hospitality of the club, staff and volunteers are tops and will make it a pleasurable event for the many bocce visitors,” he said.
Bocce Australia’s Sport Development Director Sonia Fava said the Morwell Club has planned some exciting lead-up events with Bocce in Schools, Women ‘Change the Game’ fun nights, and the ‘Game of Throws’.
The Nationals will have the added feature as being the host for the 50th anniversary celebrations of the sport of bocce in Australia. An impressive gallery display of Bocce’s 50 years is planned for the club and will make the upcoming Nationals a little more special.
The 50th anniversary ceremony will be celebrated with a gala night on the Saturday evening with the naming of the men’s and women’s team of the half century.
All this is possible thanks to the three major sponsors: Sport Australia, the Victorian Government and Latrobe City Council, along with the many supporting sponsorships for this major national event.
Bocce Nationals 2022 is indeed an exciting event to witness because of the great efforts Bocce Australia has extended but also because of all the Morwell Club’s innovations, lead-up events, newly constructed facilities and kind volunteers that will surely complete the happiness and make this a memorial bocce event for all.