2032 Games: Gold Rush For Queenslanders’ Health?

Australia is hoping for a medal rush at the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games, but health experts are also hoping the mega-event provides another rush – a boost in physical activity, health and well-being for all Queenslanders.

‘Sport, Health and Inclusion’ is one of four legacy benefits identified by the Queensland Government in its Brisbane 2032 Legacy Strategy – Elevate 2042 – which covers a two-decade period.

On Queensland Day (June 6) a panel of experts will come together for a free public event at QUT in Brisbane to discuss what it will take for the state to achieve this legacy theme.

The forum is part of the Faculty of Health’s ‘Real Health‘ lecture series which unpacks the latest issues affecting the health and wellbeing of our communities. Tickets are free and interested people can book here for in-person attendance or a livestream link.

Professor Glen Lichtwark is Head of the QUT School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences and said the 2032 Games was a major opportunity to create more inclusive, active and healthy communities.

“Elevate 2042 really sets out those big picture goals of how Queensland wants to benefit from the 2032 Games – both in the lead-up and post-event,” he said.

“For the Sport, Health and Inclusion legacy, there are two big targets for our population.

“The first is achieving higher levels of physical activity for improved health and wellbeing.

“The second is about increasing participation in sport for everyone, through better accessibility and inclusion for targeted cohorts like Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander peoples and people with disabilities.

“There are also opportunities to improve nutrition and mental wellbeing alongside these targets if we think creatively.”

Thursday’s panel discussion will be moderated by Professor Lichtwark and feature five experts:

  • Amy Cupitt, Executive Director, Legacy 2032, Brisbane 2032 Coordination Office, Department of State Development and Infrastructure
  • Adjunct Professor Robyn Littlewood, Chief Executive Officer, Health and Wellbeing Queensland

Professor Lichtwark said achieving the Elevate 2042 legacy goals would take a coordinated effort.

“It will require integrated programs that work across different areas including sport and recreation, urban design, education, technology development and our health system more broadly,” he said.

“We also require an uplift in qualified people to implement strategies and measure the impact across these areas. We are hoping that this panel will raise some of the different opportunities.”

How Queensland measures its success will also be a challenge.

“Previous host cities have struggled to show measurable changes in overall levels of physical activity or other health markers,” Professor Lichtwark said.

“To demonstrate success, we need to not only focus on basic health outcomes, but also factors affecting wellbeing and focus attention on those parts of our society that have the least opportunity.”

The Real Health panel discussion, Achieving the Sport, Health and Inclusion Legacy of the 2032 Games, will be held at QUT’s Kelvin Grove Campus on Thursday, June 6, from 7am to 9am. Interested people can book here for in-person attendance or a livestream link.

Main photo at top by SolStock via Getty Images.

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