It’s just three years until the 2018 Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony gets underway on the Gold Coast.
Now that the finish line is in sight, a team of experts from Griffith are providing insights on what the games will mean to the region:
Professor Paul Burton, Urban Research Program:
The most exciting thing about the Games from my point of view is not so much the event itself, which I know will be a great success, but the opportunity it provides to showcase the city as a whole. The Gold Coast is growing and growing up as a city and the Games allows us to demonstrate that we’re no longer just famous for fun, we’re also a great place to live, learn and do business.
Duncan Free OAM, Griffith Sports College Manager:
Being a part of a home Games in Sydney 2000, I’m really looking forward to the vibe and atmosphere of the city in the lead up, during the event and also after the Games. It’s a great opportunity to showcase our City, our athletes and our University.
The Gold Coast is becoming a hub for sport and high performance programs, and the legacy the Games will leave in sport, including community participation, is a real positive for our city.
Having a home Games is a real incentive for our younger local athletes as they see the city transformed over the next 3 years, the young athletes themselves strive for excellence to make sure they are a part of it. For many athletes, this may well be their first experience on the world stage.
Professor Kristine Toohey AM, Department of Tourism, Sport and Hotel Management:
In terms of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, much has already been achieved to ensure the event is well placed to leave a lasting positive and universalist legacy to the Gold Coast and Queensland. Planning, under the ‘Embracing 2018’ banner, has already produced an Advisory Committee (including Griffith’s VC, Professor Ian O’Connor), a strategic plan, an evaluation and monitoring group, and legacy related programs are already running, for example the Queensland Rugby Union Pacific Islander Community Engagement and Capacity Building Project.
Thus, the 2018 Games are well ahead of many other similar events, at this stage of planning, from the legacy perspective. Of course, not all event legacies are positive. The ongoing challenge for legacy stakeholders is to ensure that 2018 Games are is remembered not just for outstanding athletic performances, but because the Games were the catalyst for positive change.