Griffith University is stepping up preparations for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (GC2018) as another milestone was reached over the weekend for Australia’s biggest sporting event of the decade.
Along with the 500-day countdown to the Opening Ceremony, the wraps were taken off the stunning Queen’s Baton design heralding the much anticipated relay that will cross the globe from Buckingham Palace before making its way to the Carrara Stadium on the Gold Coast on 4 April 2018 for the GC2018 Opening Ceremony.
The Queen’s Baton, which carries a message from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II to the nations of the Commonwealth, is the official curtain raiser for the Games.
Acting Vice Chancellor Professor Ned Pankhurst said Griffith University had been a part of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games journey from its early stages.
“This latest milestone, with just 500 days to go, brings into focus the tremendous efforts of all stakeholders to make GC2018 the best Games ever,” Professor Pankhurst said.
“It is a transformative event for the City of Gold Coast and it is equally transformative for the students and staff who have worked so closely with the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation (GOLDOC) to ensure the success of this event.”
Griffith University and GOLDOC have developed a strong working relationship in the lead-up to GC2018 with Griffith graduates now comprising about 17 per cent of all GOLDOC employees.
GOLDOC currently hosts dozens of Griffith interns across a range of disciplines including Sport Management, Engineering, Communications, Marketing and Information Technology. This number will build to more than 250 by 2018 and many more student interns will be placed with other Games partners.
Elite sporting programs
The links with Griffith University’s elite sporting program have also been strengthened after science student Cameron McEvoy was named as an Official GC2018 Ambassador. Cameron has also been named the first Griffith Games Champion, representing the face of the University’s involvement with GC2018.
Griffith University has also been working on ancillary programs such as GAPS (Gather Adjust Prepare Sustain). This program, administered by Griffith Sports College, involves 50 elite athletes from 12 countries in the Oceania region participating in a series of training camps on the Gold Coast from December this year.
The program is designed to improve the sporting performances of elite athletes in the Oceania region by giving them access to first-class facilities.
“Initiatives such as these are only part of Griffith’s story of involvement in this wonderful event,” said Professor Pankhurst.
“The University, its students and sporting communities far and wide will for years to come continue reaping the rich rewards that GC2018 was always intended to provide.
“We are proud to be a part of the journey and look forward to what is shaping up to become a Commonwealth Games to remember.”