Bookmark Sunday 25 March for a late afternoon, early evening totally unique event, the Festival of Champions Welcome Event. On this very special Sunday, the Sunshine Coast is rolling out the 'red carpet' to welcome all the local and visiting international athletes, who are here in-training, in preparation for the Commonwealth Games.
I'm not sure if you are aware of this, but more than five hundred athletes and officials from at least eight different countries, representing sixteen sports, are visiting the Sunshine Coast to prepare for Commonwealth glory. Or, perhaps like me, you've spotted somebody with a 2016 Olympic towel at the gym and spent the next hour, trying to put a sport to the face!
The festivities will be opened with a 'Welcome to Country' from the Gubbi Gubbi people - Image: Gubbi Gubbi Dance FB
Our very own national rugby sevens and netball teams are training on the Sunshine Coast, along with all sports teams from Scotland; athletics and swimming competitors from Wales and England's triathletes. The Sunshine Coast has also attracted teams from smaller island nations with the Isle of Man cycling, athletics, gymnastics, badminton, triathlon and lawn bowl teams setting up in our Region too. How exciting is that!
On Sunday 25 March, you are invited to bring a picnic rug and the family and join in the festivities of the Festival of Champions Welcome Event, at Cotton Tree Park in Maroochydore. Cotton Tree Park will be brimming with food trucks and stalls, with a diverse variety of food from around the world. The Festival of Champions Welcome Event is sure to be a memorable day with live music; entertainment; sport and cultural workshops PLUS the day will finish off with a spectacular fireworks display.
The evening will finish off with a spectacular fireworks display! Image: Sunshine Coast Council FB
The festivities will be opened with a 'Welcome to Country' from the Gubbi Gubbi people, who are the traditional landowners of the Sunshine Coast.
Have you always been keen on trying out different sports? The Festival of Champions Welcome Event is the perfect opportunity for you to try out a new sport. Runners (shoes) and sweat bands are totally optional, all you need is plenty of enthusiasm to get involved! Local sporting clubs will be hosting 'come and try' activities for their respective Commonwealth sports! And, excitement upon excitement, this is your opportunity to meet local celebrity Caitlin Bassett - the Sunshine Coast Lightning superstar and Australian Diamond Captain.
FLAGS, FLAGS, FLAGS! What is your ancestry, what is your heritage? Are you indigenous? Is your nana Scottish? Is your mum South African? Do you share a cultural background with any of the visiting sport stars? If you do, Festival of Champions are encouraging you to share your culture and share the love, with the visiting athletes - bring your flags and make them feel right 'at home'! Check out the Sunshine Coast Council Facebook page here to see what countries are visiting. Extra flags will be available at the Hero Message Stations.
The 'what' stations, I hear you ask! Festival of Champions is going 'old school' to show the athletes love, and will be hosting two Hero Message Stations, where you can choose a stunning Sunshine Coast postcard to write a message of encouragement to a favourite athlete or visiting team. The Festival of Champions' organisers will ensure that your message gets delivered!
Flags, Flags, Flags! Image: GDJ Gordon Johnson, Pixabay CC0 Creative Commons - no attribution required