Gold Coast Olympians return home

The newly completed $40 million Coomera Indoor Sports Centre on Saturday played host to an official welcome home ceremony for our local Olympians.

Silver medalist Matthew Belcher OAM, bronze medallist David Morgan, kayakers Jacob Clear and Jordan Wood, synchronised swimmer Nikita Pablo, and water polo player Kelsey Wakefield received a hero’s welcome from the community complete with Brazilian dancers, confetti cannons and a guard of honour.

Mayor Tom Tate thanked the Olympians for representing our city at an international level, and encouraged the local kids in attendance to also aim high.


“Their journey started from when they were kids at school,” he said, “the parents and friends saw that journey ten or fifteen years ago.

“And as this journey has come through, some of us came along with them – to appreciate what they’re doing.

“Thank you very much for representing our city, our country. We’re so proud of you.

“We want you to know: Gold Coasters love you.”

Gold Coast Olympic Athletes Tom Tate

PHOTO: Cameron Jackson /

Sailor Matthew Belcher spoke on behalf of the Olympians, and described our city as great for fostering sporting talent.

“It’s a lot of hard work and a lot of perseverance to get to the Olympic Games, but here on the Gold Coast there’s so many facilities and so many opportunities to do really well at sport,” the silver medallist said.

“I grew up wanting to be the Nutri Grain Iron Man…and I ended up kayaking because of all the canals.

“So to the kids out there anything’s possible, and believe it or not it’ll probably happen sooner rather than later,” he said.

Gold Coast Olympic Athletes Home

PHOTO: Cameron Jackson /

The new Coomera Indoor Sports Centre – big enough to hold two jumbo jets – sits on the grounds next-door to Dreamworld and is the first Commonwealth Games venue to be completed.
At nearly 11,760 square metres, it features a gymnastics area, and eight mixed-use sports courts. Already more than 5,000 hours of use have been booked for the centre for a range of sports including netball, basketball, karate, futsal, volleyball, yoga and athletics.