Stawell Gift to Move to Ballarat

Does this mean it can no longer be called the Stawell Gift?
Whatever it will be called, this is a real shame

Historic Gift race may shift to BallaratJuly 14, 2009 - 12:19PM .
The Victorian city of Ballarat has made a $1.25 million bid to host the iconic Stawell Gift running race for the next five years.

The annual Gift - which has been contested in the western Victorian town of Stawell since 1878 - has run at a significant financial loss in recent years.

And the Stawell Athletic Club (SAC) has been informed that funding from the Victorian government would no longer be available.

SAC secretary Ian Lawrie said the club expected to decide whether to relocate the annual Gift carnival to Ballarat from 2010 onwards by the end of July.

“This decision is, without question, the most difficult ever undertaken by the committee of the Stawell Athletic Club,” said Lawrie.

"The financial viability and challenges facing the Stawell Athletic Club have been regularly discussed and have been obvious during our own ongoing business planning.

"The 2009 carnival was very successful, yet despite near-record sponsorship, crowds being up and outstanding media coverage the club still struggles to operate at break-even.

“The costs of running the carnival continue to escalate, we cannot afford to attract international athletes or adequately market the event and the club has limited reserves.”

© 2009 AAP