Dr Caroline Riot

Griffith University Sport Management senior lecturer and research lead for the GAPS Birmingham 2022 program, Dr Caroline Riot, will spearhead the University’s engagement strategy in the lead-up to the Brisbane 2032 Olympics and Paralympics.

Appointed as the Director, Brisbane 2032 Engagement, Dr Riot said Griffith had an incredible opportunity to work towards improving peoples’ lives through sport in the context of the Brisbane Games.

“The Brisbane 2032 Games provide a once-in-a-lifetime platform to amplify, accelerate, and transform the region’s future on a global stage,” Dr Riot said.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity to highlight all of the incredible work being done at Griffith but also to work closely with our external stakeholders, partners and our community members to deliver the transformative agenda that’s before us.”

Griffith played a key role in the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast and will use those lessons, among others, to help plan for the future opportunity Brisbane 2032 represents.

“We do not have to start from scratch or reinvent the wheel and can look back to see what history has taught us around university engagement with major events to understand where the gaps and opportunities are,” Dr Riot said.

“Yes we will have a volunteer program and our students will be involved. Yes we will probably be the location for more than one international training camp.

Snapped in Birmingham! Dr Caroline Riot Hamish Fejo (Australian High Commission), Julie Heckscher (Deputy High Commissioner) and Griffith’s Dr Clare Minahan.

“But it’s also about wider global issues like sustainability, sustainable procurement for instance. What does that look like? I’m thinking of an example around swimwear for elite athletes being developed by first peoples’ entrepreneurs.

“What about health and child safety, human rights policies or employment and training, youth development? There are so many different areas that we could impact in the context of the Games beyond infrastructure and transport legacies.”

Dr Riot recently returned from Birmingham where she helped deliver a Griffith University and Commonwealth Games Federation program known as GAPS (Gather, Adjust, Prepare, Sustain) to 93 enthusiastic para-athletes and coaches from 20 developing nations.

Birmingham bound Vanuatu athletes training on the Gold Coast as part of GAPS. Image courtesy Pacific Aus Sports.

She was also involved in last week’s Gold Coast GAPS program with athletes from Pacific nations, ahead of the upcoming Birmingham Commonwealth Games.

The 47 Commonwealth Games bound athletes and coaches came from 10 Pacific nations, including the Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Norfolk Island, PNG, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu and Vanuatu and will represent their countries in the sports of Beach Volleyball, Weightlifting, Athletics and Lawn Bowls at the Birmingham Games.

Read more about the week-long training opportunity online.

11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
UN Sustainable Development Goals 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities