Big events have all corners of Coast covered
  • Wednesday 09 September 2015
Breaking News

Great sport or fantastic food, coast or hinterland - no matter what you like or where you live, there'll be something to suit your taste on the Sunshine Coast this weekend.

Three significant Council-supported major events are set to place across Saturday and Sunday, drawing in excess of 9000 visitors and more than $4million to our region.

Tourism, Sport and Major Events Portfolio Councillor Jason O’Pray said the bumper weekend was further recognition of the Sunshine Coast’s reputation as one of Australia’s premier regional events destinations.

“This weekend we have the Ironman 70.3 triathlon race at Mooloolaba that will involve around 2000 athletes and another 3000 visitors, officials and supporters from outside our region,” Cr O'Pray said.

“The Real Food Festival up at Maleny Showgrounds is expected to attract more than 3000 visitors and the Queensland Championship of Bowl Skateboarding will be held here for the first time at the Coolum Beach Skate Park.

“Our region has built a reputation over many years of sponsoring and supporting major and regional events and working with event promoters to ensure the successful delivery of their events.”

Australian Skateboard Federation Chairman Guy Gibbons said the Sunshine Coast was an ideal location for the inaugural Queensland Bowlriding Championship.

“This is both a sporting and cultural event that really aims to promote lifestyle, health and fitness. It has a very strong connection with youth and the ASF is excited to launch it in a fantastic location like Coolum,” Mr Gibbons said.

“We’ll have some of the best skateboarders from across Australia and New Zealand and it’ll provide fantastic entertainment and for local spectators and a real buzz around Coolum.

“With skateboarding on the threshold of becoming an Olympic sport, the ASF is looking to possibly establish a centre of excellence for skateboarding on the Sunshine Coast in the future.

“The Australian Olympic Committee has supported this idea and so events like this weekend’s can only help to boost the sport’s profile and we thank Sunshine Coast Council for their support as major sponsor, host region and destination partner.”

Sunday’s IRONMAN 70.3 will serve as a curtain raiser to next year’s IRONMAN World Championships at Mooloolaba. It’ll be the first time the pinnacle event in world IRONMAN will be staged in the southern hemisphere.

IRONMAN Asia Pacific CEO Geoff Meyer said the 2016 World Championship would attract 3400 athletes from more than 85 global qualifying events in Australia, Asia, Europe, South Africa and the Americas.

“The Sunshine Coast is regarded as Australia’s home for triathlon and it will be the perfect setting for the world IRONMAN Championship’s first foray into the southern hemisphere,” Mr Meyer said.

“The logistics and planning for an event the size and magnitude of this are extremely detailed and we’re very confident that the partnership between Sunshine Coast Council, the Queensland Government and IRONMAN will deliver a wonderful spectacle in September 2016.”

The IRONMAN World Championship is expected to attract around 10,000 visitors to the Sunshine Coast. Local businesses can learn how to capitalise this and other major events that are held in the region through the events+ program.

This is an initiative of Sunshine Coast Council and the Sunshine Coast Events Board and has helped a number of local businesses leverage major and regional events.

Alex Surf Club manager Ashley Robinson said now was the time for local businesses to get involved with events+ and learn how to maximise leverage potential.

“Events on the Sunshine Coast are really important to our business, particularly beach events but also touch football, oztag, all those events that bring people into town it’s a great thing for the Sunshine Coast,” Mr Robinson said.

“A lot of these people don’t know the Sunshine Coast and we’ve got to get our name out there so we can actually get these people to town and help make these events successful for everyone including council who put a lot of effort into getting these events here.

“We like to give vouchers away like ‘spend $50 with us and we’ll give you another $50 if you bring 10 people’ so they get to know your business and they get comfortable and keep coming back.

“At Alex, we’re surrounded by units and at times we like to do deals with people in units like ‘book three nights and we’ll give you a $30 voucher to come over for dinner’ and the unit operators in the Alex area, and I’m sure the Sunshine Coast, are very keen for new business and so it becomes a win-win for both parties.”

Owner Director Pomodoras on Obi, Jodi Bond said the Real Food Festival provided a great avenue to boost business.

“Along with a bump in our accommodation demand we’ve used the Real Food Festival to launch new products to a wider than usual market,” she said.

“Again this year we’ll be launching two new flavours of our balsamic dressing at the event so it’s a great way to give these products exposure before they hit the shelves in local shops.”

To find out more about joining the events+ campaign, contact dtb Advertising on 5458 5600 or email

Fast Facts:  current and upcoming major events

September events (Estimated economic impact: $11 million):

  • September 12: QLD Bowlriding Championship (skateboarding) – Coolum Beach
  • September 12 & 13: Real Food Festival – Maleny Showgrounds
  • September 12 & 13:  IRONMAN 70.3 Sunshine Coast – Mooloolaba, Alexandra Headland & Sunshine Motorway
  • September 16-19: National Youth Touch Football Championship
  • September 19 & 20: Offshore Superboat Championships (Round 5) – Mooloolaba, Alexandra Headland & Maroochydore (offshore)
  • September 25-28: Champion of Champions (Football/Soccer) – Sunshine Coast Stadium/Kawana Sports Precinct
  • September 26 & 27: National Outrigger Canoe Junior Titles – Lake Kawana
  • September 28 & 29: Trans-Tasman Gubbi Gubbi Waka Ama Outrigger Canoe Junior Titles

Other major events for 2015 include:

  • December: Tag World Cup (tag football/oztag style)

Major events for 2016:

  • April: Australian Surf Lifesaving Championships (2016 Aussies)
  • May: Va’a World Sprint Titles (Outrigger Canoe Racing)
  • June:  Australian National Square Dance Convention
  • September: IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships (Triathlon)
  • October:  Australasian Police & Emergency Services Games