- Friday 27 March 2015
The Queensland Surf Life Saving Championships take centre stage on the Sunshine Coast this weekend in an ideal dress rehearsal for next year’s Australian titles.
The pinnacle event on SLSQ’s sporting calendar, the state titles attract more than 2000 competitors who battle the surf, sand and each other each year in their quest for state glory.
This year, it is Maroochydore’s turn to host Queensland’s best.
Tourism, Sport and Major Events Portfolio Councillor Jason O’Pray said the three days of competition, starting today, would be a great taste of what was to come with the national championships next year.
“This is a terrific test run for the Aussies in 2016. We’re 13 months away from that one so we’re getting close and hosting these senior championships this weekend is a great run through and a great dress rehearsal,” Cr O’Pray said.
“When you combine it with last weekend’s youth titles, we will have had just shy of 3500 competitors and spectators on the Coast and that creates a massive impact of around $2 million worth of economic benefit for the region.
“The local cafes, the restaurants, the accommodation houses, the newsagencies and the food stores, they all love these events coming to town and it’s very important for them.”
Surf Life Saving Queensland Surf Sports Manager Stuart Hogben said council’s work to restore sand to Maroochydore Beach was crucial to the success of this weekend’s event and next year’s national titles.
“We’ve been talking with Surf Life Saving Australia about what’s coming up this weekend and the support from council has certainly made them feel a lot more comfortable about the 2016 Australian titles,” he said.
“Once an event like the nationals goes to an area, if it runs well there’s always the possibility of it going back to that area in future years.”
Cr O’Pray said next year’s Australian titles would draw more than 7000 competitors, as well as 15,000 officials and supporters and deliver an estimated $20 million in economic benefit to the Sunshine Coast.
“2016 will mark the centenary of surf lifesaving on the Sunshine Coast and what better way to celebrate that milestone than by hosting a grand event like the Aussie titles,” he said.
“We’re confident it’ll reinforce the Sunshine Coast’s reputation as Australia’s leading regional major events destination.”