Four solid days and nights of sport and entertainment wind up today (August 16) with around 1500 people celebrating the close of the second biennial Great Barrier Reef Masters Games in Cairns.
Some 115 teams from across Australia and Papua New Guinea plus around 170 individual athletes competed in 15 sports in the locally owned Masters competition.
Cairns Mayor Bob Manning congratulated the Cairns sporting organisations on handling a short lead time to successfully organise competitions in baseball, basketball, cricket, touch football, squash, softball, netball, pickleball, dragon boating, volleyball, hockey, running, athletics, bodybuilding and tennis.
“Our community has shown strong support for the Great Barrier Reef Masters Games cementing our place into the Masters calendar as an event not to be missed in 2017,” he said.
“We were delighted to welcome a strong contingent of 74 athletes from Papua New Guinea, including our sister city Lae, and to host a number of former world champions including three Olympians.”
Tourism Tropical North Queensland Chief Executive Officer Alex de Waal said the region’s two World Heritage areas, the Wet Tropics Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef, were a spectacular backdrop for the athletes who were especially enthusiastic about the tropical winter weather.
“Masters Games are an ideal event for Cairns providing a welcome boost for the economy and encouraging a positive active lifestyle in the community,” he said.
Tourism and Events Queensland CEO Leanne Coddington said the 2015 Great Barrier Reef Masters Games was one of many Tropical North Queensland highlights on the It’s Live! In Queensland events calendar.
“Tropical North Queensland is well regarded for delivering world-class sporting and lifestyle events such as the Masters Games,” Ms Coddington said.
“Events play an important role in promoting a destination, driving visitation, generating jobs and fostering community pride.”
Games Ambassador Bluey Forsyth said spectators had enthusiastically supported players at the various sporting venues around Cairns adding to the fun atmosphere soaked up by the Masters’ athletes.
“The Great Barrier Reef Masters Games are well and truly the domain of the ladies with almost two-thirds of the athletes women whose family responsibilities are decreasing allowing them to get back into their sport and enjoy the camaraderie of Masters events,” he said.
The 2015 Great Barrier Reef Masters Games is hosted by Cairns Regional Council in partnership with Tourism Tropical North Queensland and Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ).
The Queensland Government, through TEQ, is proud to support the 2015 event as part of the It’s Live! In Queenslandevents calendar, which highlights the perfect union of world-class events and destinations throughout the State.