Dive in to compete on the Reef

DIVERS have helped to spread the message that the 2019 Great Barrier Reef Masters Games are open for registrations.

It is one year until the 2019 games, held in Cairns, and athletes are encouraged register early to Compete on the Reef.

“Masters sport is really on the rise in Australia and we’re thrilled to be part of it,” said Mayor Bob Manning, who today launched the 2019 games at the Cairns Aquarium.

“The masters sport movement encourages people to stay active in sport for longer, which has so many great healthy benefits – both physically and mentally.

“The social aspect is just as important as the sport itself and the feedback we always get is about how much fun athletes have had in Cairns.”

Last year, more than 1200 people visited Cairns for a combined 5800 visitor nights to attend the Great Barrier Reef Masters Games. This is estimated to have injected about $850,000 into the regional economy.

“We look forward to welcoming athletes from across Queensland, Australia and even internationally to be part of the 2019 event,” Cr Manning said.

“The 2019 medals have been designed to feature our iconic lagoon fish, so competitors will always be reminded of our beautiful city.”

So far, 15 sports are already confirmed for the 2019 games, with more to be announced soon.

“We’re working with local sporting organisations to make the 2019 games the biggest yet,” Cr Manning said. “If your club is keen to get on board, we’d love to hear from you.”

Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones expected the event to attract thousands of visitors this year, building on the success of events held in Cairns for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.

“Cairns is the perfect backdrop for the Great Barrier Reef Masters Games, which showcases the region’s incredible scenery and as a destination to plan your perfect next adventure holiday,” Ms Jones said.

“Since its inception in 2013, the Games has grown to give thousands of athletes from across Australia, Oceania and South East Asia, the opportunity to compete in a multi-sport event in beautiful Tropical North Queensland.

“The Palaszczuk Government, through Tourism and Events Queensland, is proud to support this event – featured on the It’s Live! in Queensland events calendar, which will inject more than $780 million into the state’s economy this year.”

Cr Manning said prospective participants did not need to be top-level athletes.

“Athletes of all levels are welcome. Even if you’ve been out of sport for a while, this is a great opportunity to pick up where you left off and have a lot of fun doing it.

“With a year to go, you’ve got plenty of time to pull a team together and start training. But if the thought of getting back into training seems a little daunting, we’ll be providing plenty of support over the next 12 months to help you return to sport safely.”

The Great Barrier Reef Masters Games Facebook page will become an information hub, featuring advice from personal trainers, nutritionists and other experts.

With a full social program currently being finalised, The Jack has once again come on board as the official social hub.

The Great Barrier Reef Masters Games will be held on 23-26 May 2019. For more information and to register, visit www.gbrmg.com.au.

The Queensland Government, via Tourism and Events Queensland, is proud to support the 2019 Great Barrier Reef Masters Games, which features on the It’s Live! in Queensland events calendar. Your perfect next event is in Queensland, where live events combine with the most incredible destinations, and life is beautiful one day, perfect the next.

The Great Barrier Reef Masters Games are presented by Cairns Regional Council.