SMA has negotiated a 4-year deal with Major Events Gold Coast (MEGC) to host the Australian Pickleball Championships (APC) from 2024 to 2027, attracting thousands of visitors from across Australia and overseas.
Next year the event will be held at KDV Sport in Carrara and is expected to generate 8,170 bed nights, bringing new visitors into the region. The championships are the largest gathering of Pickleball players in the Southern Hemisphere and unites players of all ages and skills, offering inclusive opportunities for able-bodied players and players with disabilities to compete beside some of the best homegrown and international talent.
Pickleball is America’s fastest-growing sport and is embraced by celebrities like Bill Gates, Australian White Lotus star, Murray Bartlett, as well as Nick Kyrgios and Naomi Osaka who are now part-owners of a pickleball club in Miami. Kim Clijsters and LeBron James have invested in the major league.
The event will follow the State Championships and provide maximum participation. Players will compete in singles, doubles, mixed doubles and team formats with as many as 1000 players, 100 officials, 100 volunteers and 10 staff. More than 95% of visitors will come from outside the region.
Chief Executive Officer of Pickleball Australia, Brendan Lee, said a unique aspect of the 2024 APC was the inclusivity of the event. “In no other sport do you see multiple generations competing together or against each other,” he said. “Pickleball enables families to travel and compete in the same sport, at the same event. The Australian championships are a complete festival. Many off-court activities will be held including workshops, coaching clinics, merchandise stalls, education courses, come and try sessions, exhibition pickleball matches, music and lots of entertainment. The opening ceremony will highlight the sport of Pickleball to the entire community.”
Photo: The championship brings people together and in no other sport will you see multiple generations competing both together and against each other.
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