AO coup for Queensland
If you’re planning to play in the Australian Open next year, you won’t have so far to travel.
For the first time in the tournament’s 10-year history, the showcase event of Australian bowls will be held on Queensland’s Gold Coast. If you’re planning to play in the Australian Open next year, you won’t have so far to travel.
For the first time in the tournament’s 10-year history, the showcase event of Australian bowls will be held on Queensland’s Gold Coast.
“This is a real coup for Queensland,” said state tourism minister Jan Stuckey.
“The Gold Coast economy will receive an injection of $45 million by securing the southern hemisphere’s largest lawn bowls event for the next five years, from 2015.”
With the 2015 Australian Open to be played over 13 days instead of five, from June 13-25 instead of in February, competitor numbers are expected to swell from 1700 to around 4000.
Ms Stuckey said it would be another great reason for people to visit the Gold Coast, not to mention escaping the southern winter.
She said being a core sport of the Commonwealth Games, it made sense to host the Australian Open Bowls on the Gold Coast in the lead up to the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
She said this latest coup showed people had faith in the ability of the Gold Coast to host high-calibre sporting events.
“This tournament will really showcase the region, utilising 22 bowls clubs across the Gold Coast,” Ms Stuckey said.
“The Queensland Government’s 20 year plan for tourism, Destination Success, recognises the importance of securing exclusive events which generate repeat visitation to our world-class destinations, and the Australian Open lawn bowls tournament will do just that.”
Bowls Australia CEO Neil Dalrymple said hosting this event on the Gold Coast was a key strategic initiative for bowls in Australia, which will see continued growth of the organisation’s flagship event.
“The Gold Coast presented a great opportunity to establish a national lawn bowls hub, boasting many high-quality greens, a fantastic climate for the Australian Open tournament, and the chance to attract many bowlers from interstate and overseas in the lead up to the 2018 Commonwealth Games,” Mr Dalrymple said.
“We’re excited to bring this event to the Gold Coast with the 2015 event marking the first year of many initiatives which will see the event, and the sport as a whole, continue to grow over the coming years.”
Gold Coast Acting Mayor Donna Gates said securing the Australian Open was a testament to the Gold Coast’s world-class facilities, adding to a growing calendar of events for the city.
“Securing the Australian Open Bowls forms part of the recently released Gold Coast Sport Plan 2013-2023, which outlined a key objective for the City of Gold Coast was to boost its sporting events portfolio and reputation,” said Ms Gates.
“From the Sports Super Centre in the north, through to the Tallebudgera Active Recreation Centre in the south, the Gold Coast boasts world-class sporting facilities for bowls and we look forward to the first instalment of the Australian Open in 2015.
“It’s expected that competitors in the Australian Open lawn bowls tournament will stay on to have a bowl in our home-grown Gold Coast-Tweed Winter Carnival, which is great news for the local industry, extending the tourism benefit for the region.”
Bowls Queensland CEO Keith Fullerton said it was great to see the flagship Bowls Australia event come to Queensland.
“If it’s one thing the Gold Coast does well, it’s tournaments, and extending the hand of friendship,” Mr Fullerton said.
“Bowls is big on the Gold Coast and with the 2018 Commonwealth Games just around the corner, it’s a fortuitous opportunity for our further-flung Queensland bowlers to have closer access to a tournament they might not have considered previously.
“Queensland interests deservedly are winning some prestige national events, most recently Australian Premier League at Club Pine Rivers in November, and now the Australian Open at the Gold Coast in June, starting next year.
Mr Fullerton said he was certain more Queensland bowlers than ever would wave their maroon colours at AO 2015.