The Gold Coast will host lifesaving’s most prestigious event for the first time in 35 years – this week securing the rights to the 2024 Lifesaving World Championships.
Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said the event would bring more than 5000 competitors from 50 countries to the Gold Coast over 17 days of competition.
“Last held here in 1988, we’ve brought the sport’s most prestigious event back to Queensland,” Minister Jones said.
“The lifesaving movement is part of the very fabric of the Gold Coast community, from Nippers right through to the elite ironmen and women, so it’s great to be able to secure this event for a city where it means so much.
“Tourism and Events Queensland, together with City of Gold Coast and Surf Lifesaving Queensland, have delivered another high-profile international event that will showcase this region to the world.”
Assistant Tourism Industry Development Minister and Member for Gaven Meaghan Scanlon said the competition would be held at Kurrawa Beach and the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre over 17 days of action in late August and early September 2024.
“We know this event will deliver for the Gold Coast economy. With more than 12,000 spectators we expect the world champs to generate more than $15 million for the city,” she said.
“When it comes to major events, we’ve got the runs on the board. In the last three years we’ve more than doubled the value of Queensland’s major events calendar – this year worth $780 million.”
Surf Life Saving Queensland President Mark Fife OAM said it was incredibly exciting to see the Championships returning to the Gold Coast.
“Queensland is home to some of the world’s top beaches, many of them on the Gold Coast, and I can’t think of a better location to showcase our sport to the world,” he said.
“Some of lifesaving’s biggest names came up through the sport right here on the Gold Coast, and these championships will provide a new generation of athletes with the opportunity to make their own mark on the global stage.
Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said there was no better city to host the Championships.
“It is so fitting that we have been successful in our bid to host the World Championships. Our reputation as a world events city continues to shine,” Mayor Tate said.
“Our city lives and breathes surf lifesaving, with multiple current and former champions living here.
“We also have the facilities, technical support, accommodation and climate to welcome the 5000-plus entrants. This announcement is an historic day for the organisation and the Goldie, I can’t wait.’’
International Life Saving Federation President Graham Ford AM said the Gold Coast was the ideal host.
“There were a number of factors considered when making the decision; firstly Queensland’s success after the Commonwealth Games, the fact they can deliver large events on the Gold Coast, the Australian Championships is run there regularly, and the fact there’s infrastructure in place and a world-class swimming facility at Southport,” he said.
“I think the fact it hasn’t been held in Queensland since 1988 means it will attract a lot of international competitors, and we know that international competitors don’t just come for the event, they often stay on afterwards.
“Queensland has so many amazing tourist spots to go to, and I think you’ll find the majority of athletes will be staying and spending time in Queensland.”
Lifesaving World Championships – Fast Facts:
•The Lifesaving World Championships were last held in Queensland in 1988, hosted by the Gold Coast.
•The Championships are expected to attract more than 5,000 competitors from approximately 50 countries.
•In addition, roughly 450 technical officials and 300 volunteers will be involved.
• More than 12,000 spectators and supporters are also anticipated to converge on the Gold Coast across the duration of the event.
• The economic impact is estimated to exceed $15 million.
•Competition will be split between Kurrawa Beach and the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre.
•World Championship events include pool rescue, surf boats, inflatable rescue boats, surf ski, board, surf swims, team events, beach sprints and flags, and the ironman/woman.
•Age groups include Masters (30+ years), Open (19+ years) and Youth (15-18 years).