Griffith University physiotherapist Andrea Miller retains vivid memories of the 1990 Commonwealth Games in her Auckland hometown.
As an eight-year-old Andrea Miller (pictured) was rapt in its spell. Such was the magic of the Commonwealth Games.
The Games were the talk of the town, at school, at play, at the dinner table at home where she declared her own athletic dreams to her parents.
Soon after the international athletes and coaches had packed up and left town, she found herself racing through the same field of dreams.
She recalls picking up a few coloured pebbles, remnants of the top-grade racing track in place for the Games, when she next raced at the stadium.
“Hand on heart that was the moment I decided I was going to compete at the Commonwealth Games,” she says.
True to her word, she claimed bronze in the 100m hurdles final at the Delhi Games 20 years later. She still has the inspirational pebbles.
Andrea has worked at the Griffith Physiotherapy and Active Health Centre at the university’s Gold Coast campus for the past two years.
She believes the Gold Coast is poised to reap the rewards of a similar legacy after the green light shone on Queensland at St Kitts at the weekend.
“Given how important the sports culture is to Australians, and to Queenslanders because of the climate here, I would expect the Gold Coast and Queensland will really get behind the event in terms of numbers, attendances and enthusiasm.”
Compared to Delhi, where she shared the podium with friend and training partner Sally Pearson, Andrea says the Gold Coast is a smaller, more compact venue that would lend itself to the Games.
“It would have an amazing atmosphere. It’s not a city that’s spread out so this would add to the whole feeling and buzz among the community.
“The Gold Coast is unique in what it has to offer as a place people want to visit.
“I know having had the games in my home town, it certainly inspired me. It’s pretty special.
“The hype goes away and you’re left with fantastic sporting venues, and these would be used well here.”