Students on a winner with Games lectures

Mark Peters (left) with Kristine Toohey at Griffith Uni campus on Gold Coast
Mark Peters (left) joined Professor Kristine Toohey ahead of his guest lecture delivered to students of Griffith's Commonwealth Games course.

Gold Coast Commonwealth Games Chief Executive Officer Mark Peters has presented Griffith University students with an insight into how the Gold Coast won the right to host the 2018 Games.

Mr Peters gave the first in a series of guest lecturers to students of Griffith’s new Commonwealth Games course in the Department of Tourism, Sport and Hotel Management.

Students were also privy to the expert views of the CEO of the Australian Commonwealth Games Association, Perry Crosswhite, when he discussed the planning and legacy of the 2018 Games in terms of media, marketing and sponsorship at the second guest lecture.

Professor Bruce Kidd, a University of Toronto expert on the political economy of international sport, a Commonwealth Games gold medallist and Chair of the Commonwealth Advisory Body on Sport, will deliver the next guest lecture.

During an informative lecture that offered students a close-up picture of what the bidding process involves, Mark Peters outlined why the Gold Coast decided to bid for the 2018 Games, the carefully thought-out strategies and the politics behind the process.

This ranged from an important change in the bidding rules to the shrewd selection of optional sports for the 2018 Games.

The Gold Coast’s capacity to stage an event like the Commonwealth Games was a linchpin of the bid. “We highlighted issues like safety and transport, but also pointed out that ‘We do sport’ on the Gold Coast,” he said.

Mr Peters also pinpointed messaging techniques used in a key promotional video clip and how the interests of delegates from the Commonwealth Games Federation evaluation commission were accommodated when they visited the Gold Coast. “We worked on our strengths,” Mr Peters said.

Professor Kristine Toohey, who has developed the innovative course on the organisation and staging of the 2018 Games in conjunction with Dr Millie Kennelly, says students are gaining an unprecedented and valuable insight into the staging of major events through the guest lectures.

“The students are really benefitting from having experts in the area give them insider knowledge in how sport events are planned.

“Both our Nathan and Gold Coast students have engaged with the Games’ experts and I’m finding that students’ questions to the presenters take up as much time as their lectures. It’s great to see learning happening this way- it’s engaging and meaningful.

“Later in the semester we have Games athletes and coaches coming in as well to talk about how to best manage these stakeholders, as they are at the centre of the event.”