The Australian Gold Coast reinforced its status as a major global sports city this month with the return and outstanding success of the 10-day multi-sport Pan Pacific Masters Games (PPMG).

The sporting action and adrenalin spread right across the city with venues from Coomera to Carrara, Jacobs Well to Woongoolba and more than 40 fields, courts, and swimming pools in between.

A total of 18,000 medals were awarded in 42 sports to the 13,500 participants who came from every corner of Australia and 25 countries including teams from the UK, Canada, Sri Lanka and Guam.

Events Management Queensland CEO, Cameron Hart said the return and successful delivery of the Pan Pacific Masters Games and announcement that it would trial an Annual Games was a significant boost for the tourism and event industry.

“This year’s PPMG has delivered the second highest participation ever following the games in 2018 with the event investing in the vicinity of $20 million into Gold Coast and Queensland economy.

“We are delighted that PPMG will join other annual events including the Gold Coast Marathon, Blues on Broadbeach, Gold Coast 500 Supercars, Groundwater Country Music Festival and Cooly Rocks On, offering visitors to the region a diverse range of sporting and cultural experiences every year.”

According to Hart, participation at this year’s event had far exceeded their expectations given the four-year COVID enforced break.

“We were thrilled with the entry numbers and optimistic about the future international interest with almost 10% of the participants from overseas despite the ongoing impacts of the pandemic.

“And the announcement that the event will return to the Gold Coast in 2023, part of a trial to see it held annually has been met with positive feedback from stakeholders and participants.

“Transitioning from a biennial to an annual event presents an outstanding opportunity for a local or Southeast Queensland enterprise to partner with us and benefit from engaging with thousands of masters sporting enthusiasts all over Australia and the world.

“We anticipate that participation numbers may initially decrease from 13,500 with the annual delivery of PPMG however if we attract 10,000 each year we will still be well ahead.

“And with 50% of the world’s population over 30 years of age and travel again high on the agenda for many people, the potential to attract new participants and new sports for the event is exciting and very achievable,” Hart said.

Events Management Queensland Chairman, Paul Donovan said he was delighted to see so many participants resplendent in their team uniforms and PPMG backpacks wandering around the shops and enjoying local restaurants, cafes and attractions on the Gold Coast.

“This event injects substantial funding into our local economy and importantly boosts the bottom line of our community sporting clubs which deliver the sports programs for the participants.

“And the opening of the new international terminal at Gold Coast Airport is going to attract a whole new wave of visitors with a diverse range of tourism and event offerings only increasing the destination’s appeal.

“The announcement that we are trialing annual delivery of this event is very timely and will reinforce our reputation as a capable and skilled sporting city ahead of the 2032 Olympic Games,” Donovan said.

City of Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate congratulated PPMG organizers on its success this year and applauded their vision for the future of the event.

“This can only be positive for our reputation as a leading global sporting city.

“We are developing skilled staff and refining our capabilities and importantly realizing the legacy of the Commonwealth Games through the utilization of our world-class venues,” Mayor Tate said.

The first trial of the annual Pan Pacific Masters Games has been tentatively scheduled for 3-12 November 2023 with 2024 dates to be confirmed.

The Pan Pacific Masters Games is supported by the Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland and features on the It’s Live! in Queensland events calendar.

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