The Commonwealth Games has been shining a spotlight on some of Australia’s smallest country towns this week. Wearing the green and gold requires a wealth of talent, and as we found, talent can come from where you may least expect. Join us as we discover what kind of work ethic growing up in rural Australia instills in a Commonwealth Games athlete.
2018 marks the Gold Coast as the 21st Commonwealth Games host city. Over the past 11 days, 6,600 athletes and team officials, 15,000 volunteers and more than 100,000 visitors have descended on the GC. For a city famed for its long sandy beaches, surfing spots and theme parks, the Games has proven to be an exciting time.
Australians love to demonstrate their national pride, and this is reflected in no greater measure than sport. We love the sports we play, and we also love the sports we watch. What better way to exhibit our national pride than to cheer our fellow Aussies on? A television audience of 1.5 billion worldwide has tuned in to support their nations during the Commonwealth games, demonstrating the events undeniable ability to promote a national sense of community.
In a country that stretches 7.692 million km squared, it would be naive to think talent is only fostered in metropolitan areas. Rural and regional Australia has produced some of our brightest sporting talent, demonstrating that distance does not hinder this nation’s capacity to perform on the world stage. Thus, as the country cheers on their own hometown heroes, a spotlight has been shining on some of Australia’s smallest town. This spotlight illustrates the event’s ability to make a small town feel famous.
The Gold Coast Commonwealth Games will be the largest sporting event staged in Australia this decade. Regardless of this, small towns in regional and rural Australia are working to make the event feel local. For many, the connection that they feel towards the individuals that represent their hometown makes the event feel personal. It is this sense of personalisation that encourages spectators to support passionately.
In honour of those from rural and regional Australia that have represented our country at this year’s Commonwealth Games, Redhanded caught up with current Commonwealth Games Squash player Cam Pilley and his parents Steve and Sue, and former Commonwealth Games player Lisa Camilleri. Have a listen as we talk all things Yamba, squash and banana farming.
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As rural and regional communications specialists, it is exciting to see the sporting industry highlighting the talent that exists beyond metro Australia, helping to bridge the great divide that can often exist between city and country.