10 August 2023

Record-breaking 2023 Griffith Sikh Games wins Outstanding Visitor Experience award

| Oliver Jacques
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Three Sikhs in suits accept award

Councillor Manjit Singh Lally, Narinder Sandhu and Manjit Chugha accept their award. Photo: Supplied.

The 2023 Griffith Sikh Games has been recognised as the town’s top tourism event – winning the highly competitive Outstanding Visitor Experience award at the annual Griffith Business Chamber Awards on Saturday (5 August).

The yearly Shaheedi tournament is a variety of sports, events and free Indian food stalls organised by the local Punjabi community. This year’s King’s birthday June long weekend occasion was the largest single tourism event in the town’s history in terms of the number of attendees.

READ ALSO Griffith dancer recognised for outstanding customer service as studio enters tenth year

“Our tournament grows every year,” organiser Manjit Chugha said. “This year was our biggest yet.”

While it’s difficult to know the exact number of people who attended over the two days it was held, Mr Chugha had a metric in which he could estimate the total crowd.

“We order a certain amount of disposable crockery. This year, 35,000 plates were used, which is by far the most ever. Generally, it’s unlikely that people use two plates, and there are some people who eat elsewhere, so I reckon the number attending would’ve been between 30,000 and 35,000.”

Two men shirtless wrestling

The Indian sport of Kabbadi is the flagship event at the Griffith Sikh Games. Photo: Aulakh Pictures.

The annual Griffith Business Chamber Awards recognise outstanding achievements by individuals and companies in business. In order to win the outstanding visitor event category, games organisers’ the Gurdwara Singh Sabha Society Griffith had to show how it attracts and engages visitors to the region and provides consumer satisfaction.

“It doesn’t just inject money locally, it has a regional wide impact. People stay in Leeton and all the surrounding towns. It brings in money to the whole region,” Mr Chugha said.

“The comments we got from spectators suggested we will get even more people next year. A bus from Melbourne said next year they might get three buses to come, including a day trip because it’s so hard to get accommodation.”

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Every accommodation venue within a 200 km radius of Griffith was booked out during the June long weekend.

Griffith City Council estimates the games contribute $5 million to the local economy each year. It is understood this figure is based on 2019 Tourism Research Australia data which indicates that domestic visitors to Griffith spend an average of $364 over a two-day trip. Given higher attendance numbers and prices since 2019, this contribution may have grown in 2023.

The annual Shaheedi tournament has also provided nationwide exposure to the town. In 2016, rugby league stars Nathan Hindmarsh and Bryan Fletcher came to the Sikh Games to film a segment that aired on Fox Sports’ Matty Johns Show. Media outlets SBS and ABC have also published articles covering the event.

Yarran Wines, Griffith Regional Sport Centre, The Gem Hotel, the Griffith Salami Festival, La Piccola Grosseria, Blood, Sweat and Beers – Independent Craft Beer Festival and Home Brew Competition, Pioneer Park Museum and Riverina Field Days were also nominated for the Outstanding Visitor Experience award.

Griffith Business Chamber team pose for awards night

The Griffith Business Chamber team hosted another successful awards night. Photo: Supplied.


Outstanding Visitor Experience – Gurdwara Singh Sabha Society

Local Business of the Year Award – Worm Tech

Outstanding Employee Award – Sarah Taranto

Excellence in Micro Business – Fluid Engineering

Young Business Leader – Cassandra Cadorin

Outstanding Business Leader – Cassandra Irvin

Outstanding Start Up – Riverina Mobile Vet and Equine Dentistry

Employer of Choice – Owen Toyota

Excellence in Micro Business – Fluid Engineering

Excellence in Small Business – Worm Tech

Excellence in Large Business – Aquna Sustainable Murray Cod

Outstanding Community Organisation – Country Universities Centre

Local Business Woman of the Year – Cassandra Irvin

Local Customer Service Award – Cafe 2sixty2

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