Door left open for future uni games

THE welcome mat has not been dragged away for future university games participants, but local motel owners say there must be big changes before the games are welcomed back.

A meeting between motel owners from across Tamworth was held earlier this week to gauge feedback from those who had opened their doors to athletes during Arrive alive Eastern University Games.

Tamworth Moteliers’ Association president Chris Dickson said while there was the odd horror story to tell, the majority of motel owners reported their experience of the games was largely positive.

“Most moteliers were of the opinion it had been good for the city and worth the effort in trying to attract the games,” Mr Dickson said.

Mr Dickson said, judging from his extensive contact with local motel operators, any behavioural problems from games participants seemed to have been limited to isolated incidents.

“There were about four or five motels that had problems, and we can narrow it down to about two or three universities who were responsible,” Mr Dickson said.

“We will be getting in contact with the chancellors of those universities and games organisers as we try and make sure bad behaviour doesn’t spoil future games.”

Consultation between local moteliers present at the meeting also led to the drafting of several recommendations for those who sign on to accommodate participants in future university games.

“We would need to put some ground rules in place before we welcome back an event like this,” Mr Dickson said.

“There would have to be limits on the amount of alcohol allowed into rooms and perhaps curfews, but we are certainly not ruling out hosting the games ever again.”

Mr Dickson said a clash of expectations from motel owners expecting a quiet night and university students expecting a good time also appeared to be the root of many problems.

“We were expecting something like a mini Olympics, but it is more of a Schoolies Week type culture, and I think very few moteliers around town were prepared.”

He was also quick to assert any behavioural problems were not unique to university games groups, and perhaps should have been anticipated by motel owners.

“You can have the same problems for any sporting or school group, you can have the same problems even with a CWA or Apex group,” Mr Dickson said.

“Motels should also be looking at their own in-house policy to make sure they put necessary measures in place so they are equipped to deal with future events like this.”

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