SportsCoast Conference

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SportsCoast Conference


Date: Friday 3 March, 2017
at the University of the Sunshine Coast, Innovation Centre

Are you interested in the future of high-performance sport on the Sunshine Coast? Don’t miss the 2017 SportsCoast conference.

Moderated by leading sport broadcaster and commentator Drew Morphett OAM, SportsCoast will feature an A-list line up of speakers, athletes and special guests, including Sunshine Coast Mayor Cr Mark Jamieson, Sunshine Coast Lightning Head Coach Noelina Taurua, and many more leaders and decision makers from the world of high-performance sport.

Join us for a day of exciting discussion and insight into the economic and social benefits high-performance sport will bring to the Sunshine Coast. Topics will include partnerships and collaboration; the business side of sport; the facilities and infrastructure required; and how to attract and support elite athletes.


For more information contact

Conference Program



Welcome to Country

Brent Miller


Welcome and opening address

Mayor Mark Jamieson and USC Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Greg Hill


A high-performance destination starts with a high-performance university: USC's new High-Performance Sport Strategy

Professor Brendan Burkett, Director, High Performance Sport, USC


Panel Session 1 - Attracting high-performance athletes with services and support

What will draw elite athletes to the Sunshine Coast to train and compete? What makes them go elsewhere? Once we have them, how do we keep them? How do we support athletes' future careers, both in sport and beyond? Moderated by Drew Morphett, speakers include:

  • Dr Fiona Pelly, Discipline Leader, Nutrition and Dietetics, USC

  • Bo Hanson, Athlete Assessments, three-time Olympic medallist

  • Darren Allie, State Indigenous and Multicultural Engagement Manager, AFL Queensland 


Morning tea


Panel Session 2 - Elite athletes share what it takes to succeed

Our panel of elite athletes share how the right environment can make all the difference when it comes to high-performance sport.

Panel members include:

  • Geva Mentor, Sunshine Coast Lightning Netball player

  • Jordan Mercer, Ironwoman

  • Bridie Kean, Wheelchair basketballer, Paralympic medallist

  • Annelise Jeffries, Triathlete

  • Kyle Bridgewood, Para-Cyclist , Paralympic medallist

  • David Fleischman


Special Guest - Noeline Taurua, Sunshine Coast Lightning Head Coach


Panel Session 3 - Attracting high-performance athletes with facilities and amenities

"Build it and they will come"? Why the Sunshine Coast? What are the opportunities and challenges for providing facilities and infrastructure? What additional facilities will the Coast need to become the ultimate high-performance destination? 

Moderated by Drew Morphett, speakers include:  

  • Matt Carroll, CEO, Australian Sailing

  • Marne Fechner, Acting CEO, Netball Australia

Presenting on behalf of the Sunshine Coast Regional Council on the "Draft Sunshine Coast Sports Plan"

  • Stefanie Wilson, Director, Luminair

  • Hugh Taylor, Director, MI Associate


Panel Session 4 - Attracting partners, events and business opportunities

This final session will focus on the ins and outs of organising major sporting events and initiatives, with an emphasis on the partnerships and collaboration required for the region to succeed.

Moderated by Drew Morphett, speakers include:

  • Rachel Smith, Director of Sales and Marketing, Novotel Twin Waters Resort

  • Dr Gayle Mayes, Lecturer in Sports Marketing and Tourism, Leisure and Events, USC

  • Matt Carroll, CEO, Australian Sailing

  • Simon Latchford, Tourism Sunshine Coast


Networking Drinks

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