Sports Gold Coast Chairman Geoff Smith:
The 50th annual Gold Coast Sports Star of the Year Awards showed this city is truly world class.
The awards, at the Southport Sharks last night (Thursday night, February 15), were a glittering success. There were about 600 people at the black-tie event, including the Mayor Tom Tate, Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation CEO Mark Peters, business leaders, government officials, sporting icons, rising sports stars, through to representatives of local grassroots sports.
The highlight, of course, was our golden girl Sally Pearson being crowned 2017 Gold Coast Sports Star of the Year. Sally is right in the middle of the current Australian Athletics Championships, being held on the Gold Coast, but like the true champion that she is, she made time to be at the awards.
However, Sally’s gleaming smile was just one golden moment from a night of highlights. In all there were six awards and Emma Snowsill’s induction into our Sporting Hall of Fame.
These awards play a very important role in the Gold Coast landscape and help unite our community and foster pride in being a Gold Coaster. They have been around since 1968 and are hosted annually by the Gold Coast Sporting Hall of Fame and organised and underwritten by Sports Gold Coast. The awards are so much more than a sports event. They show that sport is a major reason why this city has an impressive and growing global profile and contribute to the identity and brand of Gold Coast.
As was mentioned on numerous occasions across the night, we are in the shadows of the Commonwealth Games, the biggest event ever to come to this state and this city.
The awards night was just a glimpse that the Gold Coast – like a champion athlete – is ready. Across the room there were heads of business, government and sport – coming together to celebrate our sporting culture.
And that is exactly what Sports Gold Coast was created for – to bring these three powerful elements together. This city boasts many assets; however I believe our biggest potential, lies in our sporting heart. And these awards show the real sporting heart of this city
The Gold Coast is already regarded internationally as a sporting hub, however so much more can be achieved. It is Sports Gold Coast’s intention to work with business, government at all levels and local sporting organisations to achieve this potential.
Our focus is not only on the big ticket items. As was showcased at the awards night, the bedrock to our sport is the volunteer organisations – the grassroots. Without a thriving local sports community there will be fewer of our champions climbing onto victory podiums across the world.
Sports Gold Coast is a not-for-profit organisation. Our sole focus is the development and growth of sport at all levels by creating a platform for Gold Coast business to commit to this goal with other stakeholders such as universities, council and sporting clubs.
Our Sports Gold Coast members are diverse. They benefit greatly from the networking opportunities that sport events provide and having a vehicle that will deliver good corporate governance and sustainability in sporting events, projects and sporting clubs.
I hope you will join us in our quest.