- Wednesday 21 January 2015
From ‘four seasons in one day’ to ‘beautiful one day, perfect the next’. That’s what the Melbourne Demons AFL Club has experienced during its 10-day training camp on the Sunshine Coast.
Tourism, Sport and Major Events Portfolio Councillor Jason O’Pray said the club is one of a number to accept an invitation from council to head north and train at the Maroochydore Multi-Sports Complex at Fisherman’s Road.
“What a fantastic coup for the Sunshine Coast to have high profile professional sporting clubs coming here on a regular basis,” he said.
“Just prior to Christmas we had the 2014 premiers Hawthorn here for a similar pre-season camp and next week we’ll welcome the Western Bulldogs.
“These clubs travel up here with around 75 players, coaches, trainers and officials and they’re all staying in our hotels, buying food from local shops, training in local gyms, playing golf and engaging with the local community so the economic, sporting and social benefits are tremendous.
“Melbourne’s coach Paul Roos also volunteered his time to be part of a sportsman’s lunch at the Alex Surf Club last week and his presence was an enormous boost to the event that helped raise funds for the Maroochydore AFL Club.
“We also have plenty of supporters of these AFL clubs who fly here from all corners of the country to watch their teams train and enjoy a holiday on the Sunshine Coast at the same time.”
Sunshine Coast Destination Limited CEO Simon Ambrose said ensuring future visits from high profile interstate sporting clubs was an important goal.
“Melbourne and Sydney are our two most important interstate markets so having AFL teams come here helps to put the spotlight on the Sunshine Coast and it also helps to strengthen the development of the sport here,” he said.
Council presented the Melbourne club with a special memento of their time on the coast today – a surfboard with the team’s photo that was taken on Mooloolaba Beach printed onto it.
Fellow AFL club the Western Bulldogs will arrive on the Sunshine Coast on January 28 to fine tune their preparations for the upcoming season.