Opals choose Gold Coast for World Championships preparation

THE Gold Coast is playing host to the Jayco Australian Opals women’s national basketball team for a six-day training camp as part of the team’s World Championship preparations.

Acting Mayor Donna Gates, who met the team after their training session today, said while the 21-strong squad would be training hard each day, she hoped they would have the chance to enjoy the city’s beaches and unique lifestyle.

“The Opals has joined a growing list of elite sporting teams actively seeking out the Gold Coast for its world class training facilities,” she said.


“The Gold Coast already enjoys a good reputation as one of the best sport and recreation destinations in Australia and the challenge is to build on that status.

“We aim to be the number one training destination for elite supporting teams in Australia and the Opals are just one of the top level teams who will have the red carpet laid out for them on the Gold Coast.”

The camp is part of the training for the 2014 FIBA World Championships for Women, the leading international women’s basketball tournament, to be staged in Turkey from September 27 to October 5.

Cr Gates said the city has a clear direction to become a key hub for professional and grassroots sporting activity under the Gold Coast Sport Plan 2013-2023.

The Jayco Opals will be using the basketball facilities at The Southport School and, weather permitting, are likely to enjoy some beach swims as part of their recovery sessions.

Currently ranked second in the world, the Jayco Opals have established themselves as one of Australia’s most successful sporting teams, winning medals at the past five Olympic Games and claiming gold at the 2006 FIBA World Championship for Women.

Jayco Australian Opals Head Coach Brendan Joyce said the Gold Coast was the perfect change of environment for the Jayco Opals as the team continued its preparations for the 2014 FIBA World Championships for Women.

“Here at the Gold Coast we have world class training facilities, great accommodation options and a climate that is well suited to enhancing recovery – all within close proximity, which ensures we can get the most out of our time together,” he said.

Basketball fans can see the Opals in action at The Southport School from 6pm today (15 April) in a match against the Men’s Australian Defence Force. Doors open at 5pm with tickets $2 at the door. A maximum of 1000 seats are available.