On Thursday 26 May, Commonwealth Games England Sports Director, Don Parker visited Southport State School in Australia.

Don presented the schools captains with an image of St Philips Church of England; Southport State Schools ‘adopted school.’

In return, the students gave Don a number of animal cut-outs to return to the school back in England.

Larry, the Indigenous Education Coordinator at Southport State School is planning to record an instructional video to be sent to the children detailing how to paint the shapes using the traditional technique of dot painting.

The students proceeded to give Don a tour of their school, detailing its history and their excitement towards the nation hosting the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

Don said: “Everything that I saw and heard would suggest that the Gold Coast is on track to provide an extraordinary environment for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

“The Athletes Village and Sports Venues are World Class.”

The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation – whose role is to plan, organise and deliver the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games – has launched a program which connects each Commonwealth Games Association with a school located on the Gold Coast, Australia. It is designed to engage and connect with students and the broader school community on the Gold Coast ensuring they are all informed, excited, enthusiastic and involved in GC2018.

One key feature of the program is the continuation of a program initiated in 2011 – ‘Adopt a Commonwealth Country’. The initiative extends from the schools in the Gold Coast and into another country – in this instance Southport State School ‘adopted’ St Philips.

The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games will be staged from 4 to 15 April 2018. It will involve approximately:

  • 6,500 athletes and team officials
  • 1,000 technical officials
  • More than 1,000 paid staff by 2018
  • 15,000 volunteers
  • 1.5 million tickets
  • 1,000 hours of live broadcast coverage
  • 1.5 billion global cumulative TV audience
  • 18 sports and para sports
  • Largest ever para-sport programme at Commonwealth Games

In Glasgow 2014, Team England topped the medal table for the first time in nearly 30 years with 174 medals. Whilst recognising the scale of the challenge, CGE will be aiming to repeat the feat in Australia in 2018 and is fully focused on sending the best prepared team to Gold Coast 2018.

The 2018 Games will also feature one of the greatest sporting rivalries; with England and Australia competing against each other across 18 sports on the Gold Coast.