The Gold Coast will host a major surfing conference in 2020, attracting up to 400 experts from around the world.
Coolangatta received unanimous support to host the sixth bi-annual Global Wave Conference (GWC) in two years, when it was put to the most recent GWC in California, hosted by Save the Waves Coalition and its partners Surfrider Foundation, Surfers Against Sewerage and Conservation International.
“We are thrilled to see the Global Wave Conference go to Gold Coast in 2020 as it is the 8th World Surfing Reserve,” said GWC executive director Nik Strong Cvetich.
“The Global Wave Conference was established in the Canary Islands, followed by Biarritz, Mexico, UK and Santa Cruz.
“Gold Coast will be such an exciting venue for the 6th biannual held the week before the World Surfing League (WSL) world tour event at Snapper Rocks and in the year that surfing is introduced into the Olympics for the first time.”
The GWC will attract surfing academics, marine scientists, ocean conservationist, industry leaders, legends and champions of the sport to address issues and concerns facing surfing as a whole and how to seek solutions and outcomes for its sustainable future.
Gold Coast World Surfing Reserve chairman Andrew McKinnon, who travelled to Santa Cruz to present the successful bid was delighted the Gold Coast will host in 2020.
“This will be a hugely significant year for surfing and riding the Olympic wave of momentum,” he said. “I say go for gold. Go for the Gold Coast. See you in 2020.”
The Gold Coast GWC will be a five-day conference involving a WSR mini-conference such as Santa Cruz, including a surfing expo, movie festival and live music all based in the Coolangatta area.
Sports Minister Mick de Brenni said there was no better place for surf than Queensland, and there’s no better time to pull this conference together than March 2020.
“Already, Queensland surfers will play a massive role at the 2020 Olympics both as athletes and coaches, and the Global Wave Conference cements our spot on the international stage,” Mr de Brenni said.
“I’m really proud of what we’ve achieved on the Goldy with the World Surfing Reserve, the significant participation in club and free surfing, and the surf industry that’s grown around it.”
Gold Coast Tourism estimates the five-day conference would generate more than $1.2 million directly for the local economy.
The Queensland Government, via Tourism and Events Queensland and the Department of Sport, is proud to support the Global Wave Conference. Queensland, just the place to experience Australia’s best live events.
Southern Cross University, with its Coolangatta campus, will be involved alongside Griffith University.
The 2020 Gold Coast GWC bid was supported by the Queensland State Government, City of Gold Coast, Tourism and Events Queensland, Destination Gold Coast, World Surfing League, Surfing Australia, Tim Bonython Movie Festival, and The Drop Live Music Festival.
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