Sports Gold Coast was born out of the passion and frustration of a small group of diverse business leaders which included one of the city’s top lawyers and community workers – Geoff Smith.
Smith has been serving the Gold Coast community as a lawyer for 40 years. He has practiced as a principal in one of the city’s leading law firms; worked as a corporate lawyer for one of Australia’s largest privately-owned companies; and for the past 12 months has worked as a consultant to McLaughlins Lawyers.
He is also an avid sports fan and advocate and was instrumental in the formation of two of the city’s national teams – the Gold Coast Titans rugby league team and the now defunct Gold Coast United national soccer team.
His frustration with both those national brands not achieving the community support they could have and also other missed sporting opportunities led to him forming Sports Gold Coast in 2015.
“I had seen how not to do things sporting-wise and I could also see the potential of what sport can achieve, not only for individuals and teams, but for an entire community and city,” he said.
Smith’s overall plan was simple. Sports Gold Coast (SGC) representing Gold Coast business would work with three powerful stakeholders in sport– sport groups (at all levels), education and government.
It would then act as a central hub to convert opportunities for sport on the Gold Coast, from assisting a local cash-strapped club to buy uniforms, to bringing a new national sporting franchise or event to the city.
However, SGC needed to be beyond reproach. No baggage. So at the top of Smith’s agenda is corporate governance. Whatever SGC is involved in has to be done properly and be transparent.
So SGC is set up as a not-for-profit entity with a board that boasts people who have a long background of community work and boardroom success.
Since being formed in 2015 SGC already has achieved a lot:
. They were responsible for creating a unique corporate structure which secured an NPL soccer licence for the city, re-igniting the Gold Coast United brand.
. They have established a working committee which over the past 12 months has met with the Council, Gold Coast Dolphins Cricket Association, the Suns and Cricket Australia to attract the Big Bash cricket to Metricon Stadium.
. They have assisted the Gold Coast Sporting Hall of Fame in turning the city’s annual sporting awards into a gala night by organising and underwriting the event.
. They are assisting Bond University and Gold Coast District Rugby in establishing the Gold Coast as the centre for rugby women’s 7s in Australia and rejuvenating Rugby in our city.
They also have several major initiatives about to unfold (see What next? story).
“Just recently we assisted when the local soccer community could see they were going to be short of playing fields during the Commonwealth Games,” said Smith.
“Sports Gold Coast was able to liaise with the local rugby league and Aussie rules communities to help overcome this problem. That’s where we are positioned, as a hub that can assist through physically doing something or just connecting people.
“As a not-for-profit entity we are not in it for the money or the kudos. Sports Gold Coast is here to activate the city’s business community into developing, supporting and promoting sport projects which will bring long term benefits to the Gold Coast.”
Want to be a part of Sports Gold Coast?
Go to: www.sportsgoldcoast.com.au