1 September, 2020
Taking a Victory Lap
Across the country store fronts are being boarded up as a result of the hardships businesses are facing during this pandemic. However, Gilgandra is fortunate enough to be getting a new business amongst the chaos.
Returning locals Matt and Kelly Zell have opened their new sports store, Victory Lap Sports Gilgandra.
“With Target Country closing last year, we thought it was a pretty good opportunity to come back,” said Mr Zell.
“We’re confident that it will go well, we think it’s something that the town needs. The locals we’ve spoken to have all been positive, I think everyone is extremely excited to have a new business in town.
“We’ve had a bit of experience in this field, we had the Sports Power store over in Tamworth for five years and we finished up there at the end of the financial year.”
Mr Zell said that even when they left Gilgandra, he and his wife had always planned to eventually come back to Gilgandra and that they’re happy to be back.
“Doesn’t matter where we’ve lived, Gilgandra has always been home. We were always going to come home, our goal when we left 15 to 20-years-ago was to put our children through school and once that was done, we were always keen to come back.
“We’re very excited, we bought a house in town here, our two eldest children are here and we’ve got a little grandson here so that’s another reason for us to be in town.” Despite having moved away, the Zells always maintained their Gilgandra roots owning businesses in town ever since they moved away.
“We started out at Tooraweenah, we had the Mountain View Hotel for three years in the early 2000s then we owned that Tatts Hotel (Gilgandra) for 12 years; which our son Liam now has.”
Mr Zell said that although COVID-19 has caused supply chain issues across all business sectors, they’re confident that the business will be a success.
“With COVID-19 stock supply is an issue, it doesn’t matter where you are at the moment. There’s going to be some supply issues, no doubt however, fitness equipment is in huge demand.”
As it stands Victory Lap Sports will be open three and a half days a week as the couple currently split their time between Gilgandra and Tamworth. However, the pair hope to open on a full-time basis in the near future with the possibility of employing local staff.
“In my head I’ve got October long weekend as the time to push out to full time hours, but we’ll just see how we’re trading and what the government is saying with restrictions. We’re at their mercy, so we’ll see what comes of it.
“We’ll certainly be looking down the track to employ some local people, we’ve certainly had a lot of interest already. Hopefully it gets too busy for us to do by ourselves, that’d be very ideal.”