The Sports Super Centre in Runaway Bay in Queensland is currently undergoing a multi-million dollar redevelopment in time for Gold Coast 2018 ©Sports Super Centre

Plans to attract countries visiting Australia to take part in the 2018 Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast are beginning to be drawn up by ambitious local councils.

Hosting overseas teams to train in cities and towns before a major competition has become a popular way to help create interest in the event and was pioneered by Australia before the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.

The idea was further developed before London 2012 and the last edition of the Commonwealth Games in 2014 in Glasgow.

Training camps before Glasgow 2014 were coordinated by Government agency sportscotland.

Six sports specific training camps were held in Scotland and were used by South Africa, Australia, Wales, St Helena, New Zealand and Trinidad and Tobago. 

Other countries  who held training camps in Scotland prior to the Games included Ghana, Cameroon, Fiji, Zambia, Rwanda, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Fiji and Turks and Caicos and Canada.

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Fiji trained in Dumfries before Glasgow 2014 FASANOC

Runaway Bay, a suburb in the Gold Coast, hosted several athletics meetings featuring some of the world's top athletes before Sydney 2000 and is hoping do something similar in the build-up to the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Their plans have received a boost with news that a AUD$5 million (£2.5 million/$3.5 million/€3.2 million) redevelopment of the Sports Super Centre is underway

It is set to include reconstruction of a new athletics track and field, as well as a hockey pitch.

"We have just held our first project meeting of 2016 and projections are that both projects will be complete by the end of March, weather permitting," Brendan Flynn, director of the Centre, told the Gold Coast Bulletin

“Further works are also under way to build a world-class synthetic hockey pitch and we are negotiating with GOLDOC (Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation) for them to use this facility for training,”

“Between now and April 2018, we’re expecting an influx of athletes for the Commonwealth Games and some of them will stay at the Centre.

“At the moment, we are negotiating with some countries to use our training facilities and of course, we can also offer accommodation for teams.

“We are also negotiating the possibility of upgrading other facilities within the complex as we move toward the Games.”

Warwick is hopeful a hockey team will use the town as a base to prepare for Gold Coast 2018 ©WHA
Warwick is hopeful a hockey team will use the town as a base to prepare for Gold Coast 2018 ©WHA

Another town hoping to be involved in the preparation for the Games is Warwick, located 187 kilometres west of the Gold Coast.

They are particularly targeting countries competing in the hockey tournament.

"After having the Australian men's hockey squad in Warwick for a camp before the 2000 Sydney Olympics, we saw the benefit to the town and sport," Sheryl Windle, a member of the Southern Downs Regional Council Committee set up to identify and attract teams for Gold Coast 2018, told the Warwick Daily News

"At the time, our climate was an asset and that would be the same with the Gold Coast.

"Our London blue hockey surface in Warwick is equal to the best in the world."

Warwick is also hoping they can persuade a country's swimming team to base themselves there and use the eight-land Olympic-sized pool and a shooting team with Warwick Clay Target Club attracting teams for training in the past.

The training facilities available to teams travelling to compete in the Commonwealth Games is expected to include part of the report due to be presented by Gold Coast 2018 chief executive Mark Peters when he delivers a report to the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) ruling Executive Board here on Friday (January 29).