Happy new year! Yes, we’re already firmly in 2023, but this year I decided to extend my summer holiday as long as possible: for my wellbeing and mental health, and to have a proper refresh and recovery. I don't know about you, but 2022 felt like we overstuffed it?!
The top 3 things I’m bringing into this year to ensure I keep my health and wellbeing in top shape:
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been physically present at some events and meetings, but really trying to hold my mental state in that ‘holiday’ mode of peace, calm and ease.
It’s been a great decision to do so, and a testing practice – I had a fantastic holiday with family and friends, and now feel fully ready to dive in headfirst to a new year, and what appears to be shaping up as a new era.
Patty Welsh with Nat Cook and Susie O’Neill
We said farewell to sports reporter, host and commentator Patty Welsh, who retired after 47 years with Seven News! Pat has been a loved and respected personality on our screens for almost half a century, and he has seen us through an epic nine Olympic Games! I always loved being interviewed by Patty.
With Paris 2024 coming up next year, and the Games broadcast moving across to channel Nine, we will be seeing some new faces – new hosts and commentators, as well as a new generation of athletes wearing the Green and Gold.
As of this week, Brisbane 2032 also has our new CEO – Cindy Hook – hitting the ground running after coming out of retirement, for what she describes as a ‘dream job’.
This is a new beginning for the Brisbane 2032 Organising Committee, which is ramping up with more jobs and interest coming in from all over the world. It’s incredible to see so many talented people wanting to be part of Queensland’s green and gold runway.
The Australian and Queensland Governments have also just announced a funding agreement that will deliver critical venues and infrastructure for 2032 and into Queensland’s future. President of the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games Organising Committee, Andrew Liveris, said that more than $17.61 billion is expected to be generated in economic and social benefits across Australia through the delivery of Brisbane 2032.
And this is just a taste of what’s to come, with exciting career opportunities on the pitch in every area of sport!
Nat with Peter Cummiskey, retiring CEO of QSport
Last week, QSport – Queensland’s peak body for all things grassroots sport in Queensland– celebrated its 30th birthday, as well as saying goodbye to Peter Cummiskey OAM, who has been their CEO for 26 years.
The sporting landscape has changed so much since QSport began in 1993 and, of course, change has been accelerated in recent years by the pandemic.
We’re seeing more demand for social recreational sports like ParkRun, challenges emerging around volunteering, the rising costs of getting kids into junior sport, and low rates of participation as they transition into their teenage years – especially for girls.
We know that boosting the profile of sports and our athletes will have an incredible impact on our next generation. However, professional sports that follow a commercial model can turn people’s attention away from the fact that there is not enough resourcing at a grassroots level.
Barriers to participation begin early, and earning a living wage from their sport is something most Olympic and Paralympic athletes can only dream of. For many, the time and money it takes to build a career in their sport is just not viable.
We need new ideas to make sport more accessible overall, and to support amateur athletes on their journey to becoming elite competitors in non-commercial sports, like those that we often only see every four years when the Games and Paralympics are televised.
This transition across to a new era – with new ways of thinking and new technologies – appears to be moving quickly, not just in Queensland or in sports, but across the board.
2023 is the beginning of a new era and I think we are all ready for it! Bring it on!
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