Well April has arrived and the Gold Coast, Brisbane and indeed Queensland is on show for the long-awaited Commonwealth Games. GC2018 is here!
I have lived in South-East Queensland all my life and as an aspiring athlete I attended the 1982 Brisbane Commonwealth Games with my family – an experience I have never forgotten. So, I am excited to be heading to the athletics track this month to see the athletes perform.
But what excites me even more is the legacy that these games will give our communities. Post 1982, we were left with start-of-the-art sporting facilities that, as a local kid, I was able to train and compete on. GC2018 is no different. In fact, many of our kids have already been enjoying the sporting complexes both new and upgraded for some time now.
Did you know that we have three new sporting venues, seven upgraded venues and one multi-purpose venue built to support the local community and to host national and international events? And that the parklands redevelopment which is accommodating 6600 athletes and officials as the Commonwealth Games Village will, post-Games, become the residential, retail and commercial heart of the Gold Coast Health and Knowledge Precinct.
A key legacy of the 2018 Commonwealth Games was to ensure that GC2018 inspires residents to become healthier and happier through an active lifestyle and physical activity. The city’s Active & Healthy Lifestyle Program provides an ongoing legacy for all residents who have been inspired by the Games to transition their excitement into leading a healthier and more active lifestyle for themselves and their family.
As a result of this key legacy outcome, the city’s Active & Healthy Lifestyle Program in 2018/19 will ensure that the Games’ legacy continues, and more residents are encouraged and supported to be active for life. Furthermore, from grassroots clubs to elite sporting pathways, the legacy programs are supporting Queenslanders from all walks of life and abilities to find ways to be physically active and embrace a healthy lifestyle
And of course, it’s not all indoor sporting complexes that have had upgrades, Our Nerang Mountain Bike Trail was a $3.2 million investment creating the first international-standard mountain bike trail in South-East Queensland. The mountain bike trail is about 4.7km, with diverse trail styles, including fast flow trails and slow-speed steep and technical trails. We have taken the time to get out there and have a ride and it’s an amazing trail that we will have for our community. There were several families at the track which was fantastic to see.
Many Brisbane facilities also had some upgrades including the Velodrome and cycling facility that also includes multi-sport courts and function spaces. And Sound Stage 9 at Movie World will be converted to squash courts for the games. It is the largest sound stage in the Southern Hemisphere which has already attracted big-budget blockbusters to Queensland with Thor: Ragnarok filmed at the studio in 2016 and Aquaman in 2017.
Whilst we may experience a couple of weeks of massive population growth and traffic issues, what we will have as a result of the games is world class sporting arenas for our kids and future generations to play and practice on. So, the legacy message for all of us is to embrace the Games. Happy GC2018!