The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (GC2018) has reached a major milestone as the clock strikes midnight on the Gold Coast, marking 500 days to go until Queensland, Australia Shares the Dream with the 70 nations and territories of the Commonwealth.
It is a point in time that sees the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation (GOLDOC) and its Games partners delivering on key strategies and making rapid progress towards the 4-15 April 2018 Games.
GOLDOC Chairman, Peter Beattie AC declared GC2018 on time and on budget.
“This has been a huge year for GC2018 and it’s exciting to think that there are just 500 days until we shine on the world stage and welcome friends from across the Commonwealth to experience an unforgettable Games,” Mr Beattie said.
“The progress is highlighted by the reality that all GC2018 venues for Australia’s biggest multi-sport event this decade will be delivered at least 12 months ahead of schedule,” he said.
CGF President, Louise Martin CBE said:
“The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games are now only 500 days away and the levels of excitement and anticipation that we feel are being shared across the Commonwealth.
“It is fantastic to see the powerful symbol that connects and engages the Commonwealth – the Queen’s Baton – being launched later today, ensuring every single Commonwealth nation and territory can join the countdown celebrations”.
Major GC2018 achievements on the road to 2018 include:
The completion of construction of three brand new venues – the Anna Meares Velodrome in Brisbane, the Coomera Indoor Sports Centre and Sound Stage 9 at Oxenford Village Roadshow Studios
The announcement of four GC2018 Ambassadors that will help share the excitement of the 2018 Commonwealth Games with the world;
The announcement of inclusive, accessible and affordable ticket prices for GC2018;
The unveiling of the official mascot, the hugely-popular blue surfing koala, Borobi;
The recruitment of three Tier One sponsors in Jupiters Gold Coast, TAFE Queensland and Griffith University as well as many other Tier Two and Three sponsors;
GOLDOC’s first award for its leadership and efforts in sustainability securing the 2016 Australian Business Award for Sustainability.
Mr Beattie added that the brand new and many upgraded sporting venues will enable local communities to get active and try new sports and enjoy state, national and international competitions in their back yards.
“GC2018 is 11 days of sporting competition, but the long term legacy plans promise benefits and opportunities to a whole generation of Gold Coast and Queensland citizens,” he said.
Since the GOLDOC bid team won the right to host the Games on 11 November 2011, the organisation has grown from a staff of 10 to a current workforce of over 400 – all dedicated to delivering a bold, ambitious, sustainable and world class Commonwealth Games.
GOLDOC CEO Mark Peters said the succession of key milestones and achievements recorded this year was indicative of the progress being made on the path to GC2018.
“GC2018 represents a defining moment for the Gold Coast, Queensland and for the Commonwealth Games. Together we are taking the Games to the next level by ensuring this event is a true celebration of sport and humanity that transforms the Gold Coast.
“These Games are shaping up to deliver an enduring economic impact and they will unite a proud and engaged community and inspire Australians, the Commonwealth and the Commonwealth Games,” Mr Peters said.
Over the next 500 days, a number of important announcements are on the horizon including:
Queen’s Baton Relay
Today’s 500 days to go celebration is highlighted by the spectacular reveal of the GC2018 Queen’s Baton and international route at a major event at Jupiters Gold Coast. The Relay will begin at Buckingham Palace on Commonwealth Day, Monday 13 March 2017. From London, the Baton will travel through all 70 nations and territories and every state and territory of Australia over 388 days.
On 30 November, the ‘Draft Transport Operations Plan’ will be released for public comment. It will ensure that spectators and all those involved in competing, administering and reporting on GC2018 events are transported in a safe, timely, comfortable and efficient manner while the event cities keep moving.
In early December, GC2018 will launch the first stage of its smart and fashionable merchandise range with 60 product lines hitting the online and retail shelves. By Games time over 800 products will be available for purchase.
Following the announcement of a range of inclusive, accessible and affordable ticket prices earlier this month, the public sale of tickets will begin with the ticket request phase in April 2017.
In early 2017, applications for the GC2018 Volunteer program will open, with 15,000 passionate and enthusiastic people required to shape a great Games.
Over the next 17 months’ more ambassadors will join Sally Pearson OAM, Anna Meares OAM, Kurt Fearnley OAM and Cameron McEvoy to share their knowledge of the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia and GC2018 with the world.
Reconciliation Action Plan
GC2018 has made significant progress towards realising the first ever major event Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). This will deliver on the promise of seeking greater reconciliation and social justice through staging GC2018. It is a truly historic document, due for release in December 2016.
Commonwealth Games Village and Carrara Sports Precinct
The Parklands development – home to the Commonwealth Games Village – is tracking well with the scaffolding on its way down and the fitouts commencing over the coming months. It is on time for its scheduled hand over to GOLDOC in October 2017. The Carrara Sports Precinct, the final brand new venue to be completed and the home of GC2018 wrestling, weightlifting and badminton, is also on time to be completed one year out from the Games in April 2017.