A bright Sunshine Coast welcome awaits the Welsh
  • Wednesday 06 July 2016
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Croeso…S'mae…Helô!

These are just some of the useful Welsh phrases residents, business owners and school students on the Sunshine Coast, and particularly those in Brightwater, will be memorising ahead of the arrival of Wales’ Commonwealth Games athletics team in February 2018.

Up to 60 Welsh athletes and officials will be based in Brightwater for around two months leading into the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

Brightwater Residents Association President Grant Mifsud said the local community was already off and running with plans to make their overseas guests feel right at home.

“We’re absolutely honoured that Welsh Athletics chose Brightwater as the place they want to spend the final few weeks before such an important event as the Commonwealth Games,” Mr Dougherty said.

“Having around 60 elite international athletes living in our community for a number of weeks will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for our residents, our local businesses and especially our young people.

“It’s absolutely fantastic that Sunshine Coast Council has gone above and beyond to secure an opportunity like this for the region and our entire community will be doing everything it can to show the Welsh athletes and officials a wonderful time and make Brightwater feel like a home away from home!”

Welsh Athletics Performance and Logistics Team Manager Emma Wiltshire described the Sunshine Coast as “an instant number one choice for a training venue” following their visit to our region March this year. 

Sunshine Coast Tourism Sport and Major Events Portfolio Councillor Jason OPray said council had worked hard to bring Commonwealth Games teams to the Coast.

“Council first planted the seeds of bringing Commonwealth Games teams to the Sunshine Coast two years ago and today’s announcement, on top of last week’s regarding the Isle of Man, is another real coup for our community and great exposure for the Coast as a world class destination for tourism and sport,” Cr OPray said.

“Having up to 60 athletes from the Welsh athletics team based at on the Sunshine Coast for accommodation and recreation and at the University for high performance training will help inspire local people, particularly our children, to higher sporting honours. It will also give our community access to elite athletes and really makes us a part of the Commonwealth Games.

“Our local businesses will benefit greatly from having international athletes staying here. We hope to bring other Wales athlete programs to the Sunshine Coast and we’ll continue to work with the Wales Commonwealth Games team to make this happen.”

Division 6 Councillor Christian Dickson said one of the key aspects the Wales Athletics team loved was the total solution on offer at Brightwater, from accommodation to food and dining and access to fresh food outlets and parks. 

“Everything they need is right within their reach at Brightwater, it really does offer them the closest thing possible to their own Commonwealth Games village,” Cr Dickson said.

“The University of Sunshine Coast athletics track and high performance centre is just minutes down the road and within Brightwater they have great accommodation, a friendly community and close access to excellent fresh food and dining outlets.

“No doubt they’ll be keen to visit our beautiful beaches and hinterland areas during their time away from training.”

Breeze on Brightwater Apartments Reservations & Revenue Manager Katie Wood said staff were already excited to welcome their Welsh guests in just over 18 months from now.

“We love accommodating guests from other parts of Australia and overseas and to have 50 or more well-known international athletes staying with us in March 2018 will provide great exposure and recognition for our business on the Sunshine Coast as well as nationally and internationally,” she said.

Brightwater Hotel Manager Dave Newberry said the multi-award winning establishment would be a perfect fit for the Welsh athletes.

“We’re very excited to have the Wales athletes visiting the Brightwater Hotel and we’ll be able to help them with everything they need from specific dining and dietary requirements to providing them with an enjoyable and relaxing place where they can come and enjoy themselves in a great friendly environment,” Mr Newberry said.

Brightwater State School Principal Robyn Taplin said students would lap up the opportunity to meet and be inspired by international athletes of such a high standard.

“We’ll certainly be looking for any opportunity we can to enable students to learn from our Welsh visitors and also for us to be able to teach them a little about home here on the Sunshine Coast,” she said.

Minister for the Commonwealth Games Stirling Hinchliffe today welcomed the decision of the Welsh Athletics team to conduct their pre-Games training on the Sunshine Coast.

“I have no doubt the Sunshine Coast will roll out the red carpet for the Welsh athletes in what will be a critical time in the team’s preparation for the Games,” Minister Hinchliffe said.

“The Sunshine Coast has been given an incredible opportunity to showcase all the region has to offer, including its world-class sporting facilities.

“This is proof the legacy created by the Games will spread far beyond the event cities.

“The Games will attract international competitors and visitors to destinations right across Queensland providing a great boost to the whole state.”

Fast facts about Wales:

  • Wales is believed to have more castles per square mile than anywhere else in the world.
  • Mount Everest was named after Welshman Sir George Everest from Gwernvale, Breconshire.
  • Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwyll-llantysiliogogogoch is believed to be the longest place name in the world. It is the name of a town in North Wales which translates as “The church of St. Mary in the hollow of white hazel trees near the rapid whirlpool by St. Tysilio’s of the red cave”.
  • Famous people from Wales include Richard Burton, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Tom Jones, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Shirley Bassey, Timothy Dalton and Charlotte Church.
  • Wales has a population of approximately three million people. The population of sheep in Wales is four times greater than the Welsh population of humans.
  • The original national emblem of Wales was the Leek (Cenhinen), over the years this was often confused with a very similar Welsh word Cehhinen Bedr which means daffodils and so the daffodil was adopted as a second emblem of Wales.
  • The Sunshine Coast Welsh Society has around 50 members (http://www.welshsunshinecoast.com/).
  • The Buderim Male Choir is the longest continually serving community choir and the only choir on the Sunshine Coast singing in the tradition of the classic Welsh male voice choir. The choir sings in the classic Welsh tradition of four part harmony – first tenor, second tenor, baritone and bass, the melody being sung from time to time by one or other of the groups.

(Sources: http://www.buderimmalechoir.org.au/http://www.1stcontact.com/blog/featured-news/20-interesting-facts-waleshttp://www.welshsunshinecoast.com/ )