Rocky's already ready to embrace 2032 Olympic Games
ROCKHAMPTON has already established a reputation as a world-class sporting venue and would be ideally placed to host hockey and rowing if the 2032 Queensland Olympic bid is successful, according to two local sporting chiefs.
Rockhampton Hockey Association president Barb Knowles and Rockhampton Fitzroy Rowing Club president Sarah Byrne believe the city already has the runs on the board.
Rockhampton will in September host international hockey - the 2019 Oceania Cup, which is an automatic qualifier for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The Australian rowing team is also on track to be here next year for its staging camp before the Olympics, following on from the Australian Senior A team which trained on the Fitzroy River last year before heading to the world championships in Bulgaria.
Ms Knowles and Ms Byrne said they both supported a state-wide petition launched by Rockhampton MP Barry O'Rourke to have Central Queensland included in the state's bid for the 2032 Olympics.
Ms Knowles said that Rockhampton and the broader CQ region should be starting to think of itself as a national sporting hub.
"Rockhampton Hockey has upgraded its facilities with the sole purpose of attracting more international events and we're certainly going to prove that we have the capability, the capacity and the venue to be able to do that," she said.
"We feel we are certainly doing our bit to promote CQ as a major player in sporting events like international hockey.
"We have shown with events such as Beef Australia that we can support major events.
"We'd be only too happy to support the petition and if it was successful in bringing Olympic events here it would be a wonderful opportunity for our region."
Ms Byrne said Rockhampton's rowing facilities were highly regarded by the sport's governing bodies in the country.
She said Rockhampton Fitzroy Rowing Club was already working on a 10-year plan with Rowing Queensland and Rowing Australia to upgrade the facilities which would dovetail well with the planned Olympic bid.
She said the feedback from the Australian Senior A team was incredibly positive and the Australian Olympic team's plan to come here next year spoke volumes.
Ms Byrne said that Rockhampton had also hosted the Canadian rowing team before the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
"It is fantastic to think that we have a facility here that teams want to train on before they head off to compete on the international stage," she said.
"We have a 2km long rowing course which is eight lanes wide. We don't have any wash and it's not a busy part of the river so rowers have perfect conditions for training.
"There is no other centre in Queensland whose rowing venue ticks all the boxes in terms of its close proximity to things such as accommodation, the airport and major medical facilities.
"We are very optimistic and very positive that if they are looking at making this a Queensland Olympic bid with regional facilities then Rockhampton is definitely up there."