22 November, 2023

The Gold Coast capitalises on new sporting craze

The Gold Coast community has already embraced one of the country’s fasting growing sports with pickleball clubs springing up all over the coast, and now the city has secured the right to host the sports’ biggest competition, the Australian Pickleball Championships.

The four-year deal secured by Experience Gold Coast will see professional and amateur pickleball players descend on the Gold Coast for six days every October from 2024-2027, with numbers expected to grow year-on-year starting with close to 1000 players in 2024.

Pickleball’s popularity has exploded across the country and we’re excited to be part of the sport’s exceptional growth by hosting its premier event on the Gold Coast for the next four years,” said Experience Gold Coast CEO John Warn.

“We’re proud to be able to add pickleball to the city’s already diverse and vibrant calendar of major events. These mass participation sporting events don’t just provide a significant economic boost for the local visitor economy but showcase our incredible destination to the rest of the country at the same time.”

Pickleball is a paddle sport played with two or four people that combines elements of badminton, tennis, and table tennis. Originating in the US back in the 60s, the humble backyard game soon boomed with clubs in every US state, then in more than 60 countries. The fast-growing sport found its way to Australia in 2015, where an estimated 30,000 now play the sport socially across the country with close to 140 clubs.

Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said that as the city with the largest pickleball association in Queensland, and Australia, it made sense to hold the national championships here.

“Pickleball is booming around the country and nowhere more so than right here on the Gold Coast where some of Australia’s top pickleball champions live and play,” said Mayor Tom Tate.

“We can’t wait to welcome the 1000-plus players and their supporters to our city for the first time in 2024 for this six-day festival of pickleball. Give me a paddle and let’s see what all the fuss is about!”

The 2024 Australian Pickleball Championship will be held at KDV Sport in Carrara from 2-7 October, with the sport and lifestyle facility set to be transformed into the official home of pickleball over the six days.

Spectators are invited to not just watch the action on court but pick up a paddle and give it a go themselves.

“Pickleball Australia are delighted to bring the 2024-2027 Australian Pickleball Championships to the Gold Coast,” said Brendan Lee, Executive Officer of Pickleball Australia. “The Gold Coast is the perfect location for our pickleball community to come together to crown our nation’s best and celebrate Australia’s fastest-growing sport.”

“As we close in on 10,000 official members nationwide and approximately 30,000 participants, we know our members from around Australia and the world will flock to the event to experience the festival-like atmosphere and test themselves against Australia’s best. The Gold Coast is home to many of Australia’s top opens, senior, junior and para-pickleball players including Sarah Burr, Dion Reweti, Jenny and Raymond Ware and Oliver Gray.”

“The 2023 Championships saw more than 700 participants compete at Blacktown in Western Sydney and we believe we will see the 2024 event eclipse 1000 entries and set a new Southern Hemisphere record.”

The 2024 Australian Pickleball Championships will also be livestreamed.