The buzz surrounding the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games has spread to north Queensland.
A surfboard-shaped countdown clock, similar to the one installed in Surfers Paradise, is now on display at The Strand in Townsville.
The iconic monument will play a timely reminder for the residents and visitors to Townsville, counting down the hours, minutes and seconds to the GC2018 Opening Ceremony and the city’s involvement in the Games.
ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER THIS ADVERTISEMENT
Townsville Entertainment and Convention Centre will be host venue to the Basketball preliminary rounds over the course of the 2018 April 4-15 event with the centre previously been used extensively for professional basketball competitions and other large sporting events.
With just 613 days remaining until Queensland plays host to the largest event Australia has seen since Melbourne in 2006, this time piece will be a welcome showcase to add to North Queensland’s mix of rainforests, reefs, sandy beaches and outback towns.
Minister for the Commonwealth Games, the Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe MP said “The unveiling of the countdown clock marks an important milestone for the Townsville community as the whole state counts down to the Games in 2018.
“The clock is a timely reminder that all of Queensland will be part of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, particularly event cities like Townsville which will be centre stage come Games time.
“The 2018 Games will be the largest sporting event stagged in Australia in a decade and Townsville’s inclusion as an event city will generate long-term benefits for the entire community, and deliver upgraded sporting infrastructure and outstanding tourism exposure to a global audience of more than 1.5 billion people.
“The world will be watching Queensland come Games time and we know this major event will deliver a boost for our state and cities like Townsville providing new jobs and volunteering opportunities.”
Mayor of Townsville, Cr Jenny Hill said “Today’s countdown clock reveal will be a great reminder to Townsville residents and visitors that Townsville is an event city for GC2018 and will play an important role in the Games successful delivery.
“Hosting the Basketball preliminaries will only strengthen the profile of an already strong basketball history and current participation rate in Townsville.
“As we move closer to GC2018, the focus on Queensland including Townsville will provide a great boost for local businesses and will also be a catalyst to entice people from all over the world to visit our fabulous city for many years to come.”
GOLDOC Chairman Peter Beattie AC said “Townsville’s very own countdown clock signifies the crucial role the city will play in 2018 including the generation of greater awareness of GC2018 in regional Queensland.
“North Queensland will be profiled on the world stage with its superb natural beauty beckoning to the world’s best athletes and visitors from every corner of the globe.
“The fact that Townsville is hosting the preliminary matches of the Basketball will attract significant attention and I would anticipate an influx of fans and supporters to the city during the Games.
“There will be opportunities for the community to be involved in volunteering and supporting the celebration of Townsville’s role in delivering the biggest event Australia will see in more than a decade.”
General Manager, TAFE Queensland North, Joann Pyne said “As the Official GC2018 Volunteer Training Partner as well as Presenting Partner for the Basketball I am delighted that Townsville can now formally be a part of the countdown to GC2018.
“TAFE Queensland North is very proud of our partnership with GC2018 and the fact that we are the presenting partner for the Basketball, a sport that this city is extremely passionate about.
“TAFE Queensland North will work with GOLDOC to train the volunteers in readiness for the Basketball preliminary competitions to be held in Townsville and Cairns.”