Sydney outshone all expectations for the 105th Rotary International Convention, drawing more international delegates than expected and attracting global attention for the association’s key cause, the worldwide eradication of the Polio disease.
Attracting participants from 148 countries, the Rotary International Convention is one of the largest and most significant annual meetings held globally. Last month (1-4 June), Sydney welcomed 19,653 attendees to Sydney Olympic Park for the annual meeting, 2,653 above the 17,000 projected by Rotary International in the lead up to the event. This figure includes 18,603 delegates, 400 exhibitors, 150 international staff and 500 volunteers. Overall, the convention generated an estimated economic impact of A$62 million.
In the lead up to the convention, Rotary held one of its greatest campaign awareness events and broke a double world record for the largest bridge climb on Sydney Harbour Bridge with 340 participants, waving 278 flags. The turnout eclipsed Oprah Winfrey’s world-record climb in 2011. Money raised from the Rotary climb will be matched by the Bill Gates Foundation and will be used to protect 240,000 children from Polio. On top of this, BridgeClimb Sydney donated 50 per cent of the proceeds from their ticket sales.