New insights into what the Games are all about

Duncan Free OAM, Director, Griffith Sports College, was among Griffith University experts to share GC2018 insights with the Gold Coast community through Inside Scoop.

Griffith University experts have played an important role in providing the local community with a unique and informative perspective into the delivery and staging of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (GC2018).

Through the 2018 Inside Scoop series, hosted by City of Gold Coast Libraries, residents gained a telling insight into topics like the architecture of the Games’ venues, what athletes can expect at the GC2018 Commonwealth Games Village and the various possible legacies of GC2018.

Professor Paul Burton (left), Director, Cities Research Institute, and Professor Susanne Becken, Director, Griffith Institute for Tourism, brought their expertise to bear on two of the prevailing questions in the build-up to the Games: Why is the Gold Coast a great city to host a major event like GC2018? How can hosting GC2018 benefit the city into the future?

“The city has the infrastructure and a great track record of successfully hosting major events,” Professor Burton said. “The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games has given us the opportunity to not only raise our game but also to showcase the other attractions the city offers to new residents, visitors and investors.”

Professor Becken said GC2018 brought ‘a wonderful opportunity’ to establish the Gold Coast as a truly world-class destination. “As a tourist destination you always have to reinvigorate and reinvent. I see the Games as a catalyst to achieving something that might otherwise take ten years.”

Associate Professor Karine Dupre, Program Director, Architecture, at Griffith University explored the buildings that will host the sports, from Carrara Stadium to the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre. “I discussed the function of architecture in designing structures that deliver a premium experience for athletes and spectators, and the critical role of those spaces in the success of the Games,” she said.

She was joined by Master of Architecture student, Sarah Paige (below), who outlined how she teamed up with fellow architecture students, Kirra Keating, Brian Mates and Nikki Findlay, to create the 3D model of Carrara Stadium that has played an integral functional role in the design of what promises to be a memorable Opening Ceremony.

Professor David Thiel, a world-respected authority on elite athlete monitoring at the School of Engineering and the Built Environment, considered the role of technology in the lives of elite athletes and the part it plays in diet, pre-competition training, recovery and minimising risk of injury.

He was one of three Griffith experts who entered the minds and lives of athletes counting down to GC2018. He was joined by Duncan Free OAM, Director of Griffith Sports College, and Dr Caroline Riot, a sport management researcher at Griffith Business School.

Olympic gold medallist Duncan Free delved into how a world-class athlete fine-tunes preparations for a major event with less than 50 days to competition. Dr Riot examined the business side of life as a successful elite athlete in the spotlight, from brand management to professional life after sport.

The potential for a ‘city changing’ legacy to sweep across the Gold Coast region in the aftermath of the GC2018 was the focus of the final presentation to a public audience where Professor Ned Pankhurst and Dr Alana Thomson looked at the likely and enduring impacts on the Gold Coast once the curtains come down on the closing ceremony on April 15.

Professor Pankhurst, Senior Deputy Vice Chancellor, Griffith University, focused on the evolution of the Gold Coast’s Health and Knowledge Precinct, and future opportunities for collaboration between high-tech industry development and world-leading research in health and science. He discussed the transformation of the GC2018 Commonwealth Games Village post-Games.

Dr Thomson, a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Griffith Business School, asked how the legacy of the Games is likely to influence civic pride and social cohesion. “The findings show it is very important for people living on the Coast to engage with the atmosphere and excitement of the Games, even if they are not attending any of the sports events,” she said. “This involvement will play a significant part in the generation of a positive and productive social legacy that will benefit the region in the years ahead.”

The seven-part 2018 Inside Scoop was opened by Emily Biviano, a GOLDOC Village Operations Assistant. She presented a unique insight into what athletes can anticipate on arrival at the GC2018 Commonwealth Games Village. Following her internship at GC2018, the Griffith Business School double degree student was offered a full-time job in the Village Operations team.

Mandy Keegan, Manager Press Operations, GOLDOC, explained how media coverage of the Games would be shaped on the Gold Coast.