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Friday 2 December
Australian netball champion Laura Geitz has been revealed as the fifth official Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (GC2018) Ambassador in Brisbane today.
The announcement was made by Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk MP at the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital in Brisbane.
In her first role as a GC2018 ambassador, Ms Geitz was on hand to launch the GC2018 mascot ‘Borobi’ plush soft toys and hand them out to the children at the hospital.
The netball world champion and Commonwealth Games gold medallist joins hurdles champion Sally Pearson OAM, swimming star Cameron McEvoy, cycling queen Anna Meares OAM and Paralympian Kurt Fearnley OAM as a welcome member of the GC2018 Ambassador family.
This select group of high profile sports figures will assist the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation (GOLDOC) with promotion of the 4-15 April 2018 Games to Australia and the rest of the world.
To mark the occasion, Ms Geitz was presented with a commemorative surfboard – an iconic keepsake of the Gold Coast lifestyle.
Also in attendance today were Commonwealth Games Minister Stirling Hinchliffe MP, Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation (GOLDOC), CEO Mark Peters, GC2018 Mascot design competition winner, Merrilyn Krohn and children from the hospital.
“To be involved in GC2018 as an ambassador and to help tell the world about how amazing the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia is will be exciting, I can’t wait to welcome the Commonwealth’s best athletes to my home state in April 2018.
“It was an amazing feeling winning gold at Glasgow 2014, but to have a home Commonwealth Games in Queensland will be truly special, with friends and family in the stands cheering us on.
“The Commonwealth Games is the pinnacle for Australian netballers and the prospect of winning back-to-back gold medals is very exciting.”
“This is a new chapter in my life, as I prepare to welcome my first child into the world, and the next 16 months in the lead up to GC2018 will be a whirlwind of excitement.
“I am delighted my first role as an Ambassador was to share the beautiful Borobi plush toys with the children at the Lady Cilento Hospital – seeing their smiles was so heart-warming.”
GOLDOC Chairman Peter Beattie AC:
“We look forward to welcoming Laura into the GC2018 family, someone who can draw on her experience as an elite athlete, knowing the amazing feeling the Games experience will provide spectators and athletes from around the Commonwealth.
“Laura’s qualities on and off the netball court are of the highest order and she possesses the characteristics we want from an ambassador to create awareness of Queensland, Australia and the Gold Coast around the world.
Premier of Queensland the Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk MP:
“I’m excited to announce Laura as a Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Official Ambassador, she is a proud Queenslander and the ideal person to promote the Games to Australia and the world.
“Laura is a wonderful role model for young women and her sporting feats as a member of the Australian netball team have made her a household name.”
Minister for the Commonwealth Games the Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe MP:
“Laura is a welcome addition to the GC2018 ambassador family and someone all Australians can identify with.
“She will play an important role in sharing the GC2018 dream with athletes and sporting fans from around the world.”
GOLDOC CEO Mark Peters:
“Laura is a two-time Commonwealth Games medallist and world champion netballer, whose vibrancy and attitude towards life on and off the court is in line with the passion and attitude of these Games.
“She is an incredible role model to many thousands of netballers in Australia and around the Commonwealth and I am confident she will inspire people to come along and enjoy world-class athletes in action in 2018.
“It’s a great pleasure to have Laura on this journey with us, she will be a valued addition to the ambassador program and I’m excited to see her share the dream with the entire Commonwealth.”
David Grevemberg CBE, Chief Executive of the Commonwealth Games Federation:
“The ambassador program plays such an important role in promoting the Games to communities right across the Commonwealth. Laura has proven to be an outstanding contributor to the Commonwealth sporting community in one of our most iconic sports and we’re thrilled she has been named an official Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games ambassador.”
City of Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate
“Laura is a Queensland sporting legend and someone who embodies the excitement of the Gold Coast.
“She is admired by millions of young netballers across Australia and New Zealand and is a great choice as one of our Games ambassadors.”
Australian Commonwealth Games Association CEO Craig Phillips:
“Laura has been a vital member of the Australian Commonwealth Games team and it’s fantastic to have her named as an official ambassador for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.
“She has been a wonderful representative for Australia at the past two Commonwealth Games in Delhi and Glasgow and we hope to see her back on the court on the Gold Coast in 2018 leading the charge towards back-to-back gold medals.”
Tamara Morris – 0400 658 429
Manager Communication and Media
Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation (GOLDOC)
• Date of Birth: 4 November 1987
• Age: 29
• Hometown: Allora, Queensland
• Sport: Netball
• Coach: Lisa Alexander (Diamonds Head Coach)
• Spouse: Professional rugby player Mark Gilbride
Recognition and awards
• 2015 Netball World Championships (Sydney) – Gold
• 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games – Gold
• 2011 Netball World Championships (Singapore) – Gold
• 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games – Silver
• Selected for the Australian national team in 2008
• Will be immortalised in the form of a bronze statute outside the Brisbane Entertainment Centre
• Plays in the positions of Goal Keeper and Goal Defence
• Received the Liz Ellis Diamond Award in 2011 as the best player in Australian netball
Backgrounder – GC2018 Ambassador Program
In the lead up to GC2018 ambassadors will be drawn from a range of fields to share their knowledge of the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia and GC2018 with the world.
They will be integral the successful delivery of the biggest event in Australia in a decade.
The GC2018 Ambassador Program ultimately helps GOLDOC achieve its vision of staging a great Games in a great city leaving great memories and great benefits for all.
It also aims to specifically address one of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation’s key objectives – to engage and harness the enthusiasm of our communities.
The ambassadors will promote GC2018 as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience a world-class celebration of sport, art and culture and encourage wide participation in GC2018 programs and initiatives.
Their involvements will also help build an international media profile for GC2018 and interest in GC2018 milestone initiatives such as ticketing, merchandise, volunteering and the Queen’s Baton Relay.
Together they will help us Share the Dream of GC2018 with the world.
Commonwealth Games Ambassadors
Commonwealth Games traditionally utilise a number of official ambassadors to spread the word of The Friendly Games.
A number of high profile GC2018 ambassadors will be announced over coming months.
Eight high profile Scottish sports people and entertainment identities were the ‘faces’ of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
They were: Jessica Ennis-Hill (track & field), Nicola Adams (boxer), Michael Jamieson (swimmer), Allan Wells (track & field), Sir Chris Hoy (cyclist), Rebecca Adlington (swimmer, Billy Connolly (comedian) and Martin Compston (actor/comedian).