The Gold Coast welcomes home local Olympians

Gold Coast Olympians will be officially welcomed home today.

They will attend a special ceremony at the Coomera Indoor Sports Centre starting at 10:00am.

Mayor Tom Tate will lead the celebrations for athletes including silver medal winning sailor Matthew Belcher and bronze medallist, swimmer David Morgan.


Kayakers Jacob Clear and Jordan Wood, synchronised swimmer Nikita Pablo and water polo player Kelsey Wakefield also return.

Local sports stars of the future will stage a guard of honour as they enter the complex.

“This is the first time a regional city has been included in the national welcome home ‘tour’ so we anticipate plenty of locals coming to Coomera to show their support for our athletes,” he said.

“I know the city is bursting with pride and excitement to welcome home our talented Gold Coast athletes returning from representing the country at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

“To be able to throw a welcome home event for them at one of our newest City venues, which will be a Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games™(GC2018) legacy, is something that makes me even prouder.”

Australian Olympic Committee representative Sara Carrigan said welcome home parades gave the community the chance to closely connect with the athletes.

“For the locals, especially our young kids, it’s a great way to connect with the athletes and realise that representing your country is a tangible thing,” she said. “And how wonderful this event is being held at a GC2018 venue.”

The Coomera Indoor Sports Centre was the first new Commonwealth Games venue to be completed in July 2016. The community day is the first opportunity that the general public will have to come and check out the facility.

The massive 11,760 metre square sports and recreational venue features eight mixed-use sports courts, a gymnastics arena, change rooms, public amenities, meeting and function rooms and a kiosk. It has 350 permanent seats and is capable of expanding up to 7600 with temporary seating.

The welcome home and open day runs from 9am – 12pm and is free. The official welcome home begins at 10am.

Activities on offer will include Brazilian dancers, a free sausage sizzle, “have a try” sports, coffee carts, and an inflatable playground. Athletes will be available for autograph signing after the presentation ceremony.

The Coomera Indoor Sports Centre provides much needed community infrastructure to support the growing Coomera population and is the first new GC2018 to be completed.

“The northern corridor has a large number of sporting clubs across many codes and this venue is a great asset to help the development of athletes at all sporting levels from grass roots to the elite sector,” said Cr Tate.

More than 5,000 hours of use has been booked for the centre to date for a range of sports including netball, basketball, karate, futsal, gymnastics, volleyball, yoga and athletics. Free parking is available on site.