On your marks, get set, go! The countdown is on: The 2018 Commonwealth Games will be held on Australia's gorgeous Gold Coast.
The venues are ready and the athletes’ village is well on its way, as the Gold Coast gets set to host this magnificent event. From 4 to 15 April in 2018, the place to be is the Gold Coast. There will be 70 nations and territories competing in 18 sports and seven para-sports at 18 competition venues. It will be the largest event to be held in Australia during this decade with 6,600 athletes and team officials and 15,000 volunteers with an expected 1.5 million spectators.
With so many sports in the program, it is a huge task to get each event ready for the Games. Former Olympian Anita Palm is head of sport at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation. Her job is to bring together the team that is going to implement all of the 18 sports.
“We’ve got a big team already of about 50, with a sport manager looking after each sport,” said Palm. “I’m excited about the way we have managed to engineer an event that just encapsulates the Gold Coast, especially the cycling road, where we’ve changed the course after reviewing what was done earlier, and now have a start/finish right on the beachfront at Currumbin going up into the mountains through roads that have got trees kissing on either side together. It’s a pretty amazing route.”
Palm is also the first female head of sport at a Commonwealth Games and is passionate about equality in sports.
"Generally you need the support of everyone to introduce change and we’ve managed to lobby with the International Federations and Commonwealth Games Federation, who are completely supportive of adding seven more events," said Palm. "This means our Commonwealth Games at the Gold Coast have equal events for men and women for the first time ever and it’s also not only the Commonwealth Games, but it will be the first multidisciplinary sporting event in the world that has equal events, so that’s pretty exciting. Every time you achieve a world first you do feel a bit proud.”
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The Games Ambassadors are also flying the flag for the Gold Coast. Hometown girl Sally Pearson is one of the ambassadors. Best known as a world, Olympic and dual Commonwealth Games hurdles gold medalist, Pearson—a Gold Coast resident—is thrilled to be part of the event.
“The Commonwealth Games is an amazing experience for athletes and spectators and in 2018 it will be the Gold Coast, my hometown, showcased to the world,” said Pearson. “The 2018 Games will inspire a new generation of young athletes and provide the perfect opportunity for the next wave of stars to shine."
Pearson will attempt to defend her Commonwealth 100-metre hurdles title at the Games. The other ambassadors are Paralympian athlete Kurt Fearnley, swimmer Cam McEvoy, cyclist Anna Meares and netballer Laura Geitz. Ticket information has been released and children’s tickets start at $10 and adult tickets start at $20, including free public transportation event day. The ticket request phase begins on 24 April, 2017.
How to Have a Healthy Holiday on the Gold Coast
Gearing up for a healthful holiday before, during or after the 2018 Commonwealth Games is a breeze on the Gold Coast. You can have a happy and healthy holiday anytime of the year from yoga by the beach, to cycling along the foreshore. The Gold Coast has it all.
Stand-up paddle boarding in Currumbin Lagoon is a fun way to keep fit, or take a surf lesson and learn to ride the waves like a pro.
For a lesson or two in healthy cooking, head to Tenteram Fine Foods Cooking School. Located in the Currumbin Valley, they offer gourmet healthy Asian cooking classes. In the hands on class, you’ll chop, dice and cook your own delicious feast. Tenteram Fine Foods also make their own range of pastes and sauces.
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If you are in need of an escape from the day-to-day grind then Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat is the answer. Located in the hinterland of the Tallebudgera Valley, the retreat offers full spa treatments in the Spa Sanctuary, wellness classes, activities, sauna, pool, gym, cycling studio, bushwalks, seminars and more. You can book in for a scheduled stay; anything from a two-night wellness weekend to a seven-night detox program. Their packages are fully inclusive and it means that you really get that much-needed time out to relax and recuperate.