Gold Coast Suns Supporters

Gold Coast SUNS branch out up north

The Gold Coast Suns have announced they’ll play one game a year in Darwin, as part of a new partnership.

It’s hoped by bringing a premiership game to the city, they can drum up support for the game in its new Academy Zone.

The Gold Coast SUNS will play one Toyota AFL Premiership game in Darwin for four years starting next year.

As per the AFL Commission’s assistance package, with Darwin provisioned as a SUNS Academy zone, the club has the ability to pre-sign players without having to work through the Draft bidding system and an increase to include 10 players on its rookie list.

The club has also indicated it will look to select talented footballers from the NT for available NEAFL (male) and Super Series (female) spots on their playing list, as well as reserve six spots on their AFLW list for NT players.

It goes beyond the player gains for the SUNS though – with the club looking to build on their important roll in the community.

They’ll assist the AFLNT in the delivery of footy programs, and continue to provide education, professional development and support to local coaches and high-performance staff.

SUNS Chief Executive Mark Evans says he’s excited about the club’s future opportunities.

“We are thrilled to have Darwin confirmed as a Gold Coast SUNS Talent Academy Zone and to highlight our commitment to the region and with thanks to the support of the NT Government and AFL we are pleased to announce that we will play AFL games in Darwin.

“We share AFLNT’s vision of increasing participation and seeing more Northern Territory talent on AFL and AFLW lists and to drive this we have committed to delivering programs and creating pathways to foster talent and develop people,” Evans said.

Northern Territory Minister for Tourism, Sport and Culture, Lauren Moss described the importance of football in the community.

“Footy is a way of life in the Territory, playing a key role in keeping young people on a positive path and supporting stronger communities.

“This new agreement with the AFL will see top-quality games continue to be played in Darwin over the next four years, providing a boost to the local economy as well as supporting strong grassroots footy and clear pathways for Territory players looking to make it at elite levels.

“The SUNS have committed to working with the community to ensure their presence in the NT provides outcomes for the community beyond the games themselves including the roll out of a series of grassroots focused football activities in the region.

Andrew Dillon, the AFL’s General Manager of Game Development said today’s announcement aligned with the AFL’s vision.

“The AFL thanks the NT Government for its support in sharing our vision of giving boys and girls the best opportunity of developing their footy in the Territory, along with helping bring AFL and AFLW matches to every state and territory across the country.”

Auckland New Zealand

More flights announced between Gold Coast and New Zealand

The bridge across the ditch is set to strengthen, with the announcement of more flights between the Gold Coast and New Zealand.

Around 100 additional flights will be added to Air New Zealand’s schedule from March next year, with services between Gold Coast and Auckland increased to daily.

There will also be up to nine services in total per week during peak school holiday periods in April, July and October.

It’s the second time Air New Zealand has increased services between the coast and New Zealand this year – the last announcement was made in February.

Queensland Airports Limited CEO Chris Mills it shows a huge vote of confidence in the city.

“Moving to a daily service, and more during peak times, shows the connection between New Zealand and the Gold Coast region is only growing stronger.

“New Zealand continues to be the number one international market for Gold Coast Airport, so it is great to see Air New Zealand responding to the demand,” Mr Mills said.

The flights could bring around 10,000 extra tourists our way per year, along with millions of dollars for the Gold Coast economy.

New Zealand is the number one international market for Gold Coast Airport, with more than 550,000 people travelling between the Gold Coast and New Zealand over the past year.

Destination Gold Coast CEO Annaliese Battista hopes the extra flights will support peak travel periods for Kiwis keen to reconnect with Australia’s favourite playground.

“Increased services will see fares remain competitive and affordable, which remain central to safeguarding Gold Coast as a top of mind holiday destination for our Tasman neighbours.

“Kiwis just can’t get enough of our pristine beaches, warm weather, theme parks, family-centric experiences and natural attractions,” Ms Battista said.

60 percent of Gold Coasters deemed overweight or obese

It’s been revealed more than half of Gold Coasters are overweight or obese, but we’re still doing better than the whole of Queensland.

In light of World Obesity Day last week, new figures have showed that 60.5 percent of Gold Coast adults are overweight or obese.

To fall into that ‘overweight’ category, you must have a BMI (Body Mass Index) between 25 and 29.9, ‘obesity’ requires a BMI of 30 or above.

The Gold Coast has clocked a 28.3 percent obesity rate in adults, according to the latest figures from the Mitchell Institute at Victoria University.

It falls second only to Brisbane’s rate, which was the lowest in the state at 23.8 percent.

The Mitchell Institute analysis claims the overweight/obesity rates around the country seem to correspond closely to where people live.

Albatross Nippers HOTA

WATCH: Documentary to showcase inspiring local surf lifesaving program

An incredible initiative that gives children with special needs the chance to experience the joys of surf lifesaving is being brought to the big screen in a new documentary.

The Albatross Nippers program will be featured in a 35-minute documentary called Included, with the film’s premiere taking place at HOTA, Home of the Arts this Saturday.

Albatross Nippers is conducted within the Nobby’s Beach SLSC Nipper program, so that all kids (Albatross Nippers and Nippers) can train alongside one another.  Growing year on year, the Albatross Nippers program now has more than 100 families with special needs children and young adults as registered participants.

Find out more about the program, and the documentary Included in the video below:

In a bid to raise awareness of the program, Albatross Nippers founder Nick Marshall teamed up with filmmaker Shannon Johnston (Risen Film) to document the group’s proud history and emotional journey to qualify for the 2019 Queensland Surf Life Saving Championships.

“With Surf Life Saving Queensland celebrating 50 years of Nippers last season, we thought it would be great if the Albatross Nippers also had a chance to be part of the state carnival and represent their club like all the other kids,” said Nick Marshall, who has been head coach at Nobby’s Beach SLSC for more than a decade.

“People then started saying it would make an amazing story as this group of kids were attempting to do something no one had ever done. It had all the elements filmmakers love – drama, emotion, action, battling the odds and, of course, some very cute and happy children.

“Shannon Johnston from Risen Film came onboard and through a combination of fundraising and grants, we have created a truly special documentary. I won’t lie – it’s a bit of a tearjerker with some pretty emotional back stories, but it showcases everything that is great about the surf lifesaving community.”

To secure a ticket to the premier screening of Included at HOTA, please register your attendance at:

Tickets are free, however all donations big or small to support this charity are welcomed. Donations can be made via:

The Winton Centre A.B. Paterson

WATCH: See inside an award-winning learning precinct at Gold Coast Open House

Gold Coasters will be able to take a look inside an award winning learning precinct at Gold Coast Open House this Saturday.

A.B. Paterson College will be opening the doors of The Winton Centre to the public, with locals able to take part in guided tours throughout the morning from 9am-12pm.

The $13 million Centre officially opened in July, and reflects the latest thinking in education with architecture and design to inspire growing minds.

The three-level building features 4500 square metres of dedicated learning spaces, including a rainforest themed playground, film studio and theatre which can seat 153 people with retractable seating, acoustic panels and fully sprung floor.

There are eight flexible teaching and learning spaces throughout, a Years 4-12 library, academic research areas, outdoor deck, staff common room and facilities and café.

Learn more about The Winton Centre in the video below:

The Winton Centre was delivered by Alder Constructions and Burling Brown Architects.

Gold Coasters are encouraged to explore the learning facility at Gold Coast Open House this Saturday 19 October from 9am-12pm. It is free to attend. For more information, visit:

This is a sponsored editorial brought to you by A.B. Paterson College