Last weekend, the Sports Super Centre on the Gold Coast hosted around 1000 members of the local community at its inaugural ‘Super’ Community Open Day, in celebration of becoming an official Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (GC2018) training and accommodation venue.
Held on Saturday, August 6 between 11am-3pm, the public event in Runaway Bay assembled a huge variety of sports and exercise activities for the public to participate in free of charge. Around 30 sporting clubs and other sport and fitness organisations put on activities with an emphasis on participation, while others opened a variety of interactive booths for the occasion.
The day began in spectacular fashion, with the Australian Parachute Federation (pictured below) capturing everyone’s attention with four parachuters hurtling at top speed through the sky and into the centre’s brand new track and field stadium, leaving coloured trails of smoke in their wake.
A moving dedication ceremony then followed, with many guests gathering to watch the Sports Super Centre’s main walkway be named after former Gold Coast Mayor and Australian long-distance running great, Ron Clarke.
Around 50 of Clarke’s nearest and dearest family, friends and colleagues turned out for the ceremony. Those in attendance included Clarke’s wife and sons Helen, Nicholas and Marcus (pictured below), as well as GOLDOC CEO Mark Peters, Councillor Cameron Caldwell, female long-distance running great Benita Willis, and the Sports Super Centre’s Director Brendan Flynn.
“Ron Clarke was instrumental in the inception of the Sports Super Centre when it was built as a Sydney Olympics training venue in 2000, and he also played an pivotal role in securing the Gold Coast’s bid for the Commonwealth Games in 2018,” said Mr Flynn.
“At the ceremony, we unveiled a large ‘Ron Clarke Way’ sign in his name, as well as a plaque and mural that will remain at the Sports Super Centre as a tribute to the great man for all of time.”
The way Clarke would have wanted, a full schedule to celebrate all things sport and fitness then followed. Commonwealth Games koala mascot Borobi (pictured below) did a meet and greet with fans at the open day, while the NRL and AFL held clinics for aspiring young football players, alongside about 15 local, state and national sporting clubs.
“We are proud to say we brought together many and varied sporting and fitness clubs and organisations from across the Gold Coast and around Australia, to ensure there was something for sports fans, fitness fanatics and families alike,” said Mr Flynn.
“There were games and activities on offer to suit everyone’s tastes, including many of the Commonwealth Games sports such as beach volleyball, athletics, rugby, basketball, netball, lawn bowls, hockey, swimming, tennis and badminton.
“We also hosted non-Games sports like cricket and triathlon, or if people wanted to try something different, they could have a go at Ultimate Frisbee or Footbike.
“For the fitness fanatics, the Sports Super Centre showed off our gym, group exercise studios and pool, and we offered free classes in yoga, deep-water exercise, boxercise, Spin, Zumba and Pilates.
“For those who weren’t necessarily sport fans, we offered family fun with food and drink stalls, music and entertainment, an inflatable pool maze and a Spartan obstacle course, so it really was a Super day offering something for everybody.”