Reading Time: 4 minutesThe first thing that springs to mind is the colours that greet you – purples, reds, yellows and blues. And then it occurs to you, ‘But of course!’ Australians love a great splash of hues (and let’s face it, so do Indians) so why should this be any different?
From April 4-15, as part of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games 2018, some 6,500 athletes will call the Games Village home. In fact, with the facilities at their fingertips, getting them to leave the Village may well be a challenge! We decided to take a look ourselves and bring you a little peek of the place where some of our most talented sportspersons are going to live for two weeks.
There are three zones in the Village: Operational, Residential and International. It is quite obvious that careful thought has gone into incorporating natural elements of water, wind, sun and shade into the construction within the zones.
The Operational zone houses a comprehensive, airport-like security system that athletes will be required to clear. Special holding areas for team managers to check in and receive passes ensure that athletes focus on what they do best: sporting.
Once you’ve cleared security, make your way up to the residential zone. Named by Griffith University students, the residential zone is further divided by iconic Queensland features: Beach, Outback, Rainforest, Reef, Sunset and Surf.
Mind you, it’s easy to lose your way in the labyrinth, but the designers and architects involved in creation of this masterpiece have used cartoon-like graffiti to indicate pathways to the different residential zones.
The 3,300 rooms are comfortable with two single beds and basic amenities. The residential areas boast of games-first cooling residential pools and state-of-the-art digital spaces. At the heart of the zone, an artwork that reflects Gold Coast’s hinterland waterfalls and natural rock formations spans a water fountain instalment, it’s quite the spectacle.
Close by, the seven-hectare green area features enough space to hold concerts and live stage entertainment. Recreational options are aplenty, with dedicated rooms such as the Games Room that’s filled with arcade and video games, Village Gym that is upkept by professional staff, and the Athlete Recovery area that provides massages and consults from Sports Medics.
There’s also a dental van, doping test area and a poly-clinic that provides regular and emergency support 24 hours a day. This year the Games are also hosting the largest ever population of para athletes for the para-sport programme, so the entirety of the zone is fully accessible with specific prosthetic services as well.
Athletes will move around the Village in a fleet of shuttles and Games-branded cars as well as via the Gold Coast light rail network (G:link) station right across the road.
The last stop is the international zone, where players can mingle with friends and family and kick up their heels after a long day on the field. They can also enjoy events together, shop or visit the salon if they like. The zone also has multi-faith rooms, with one featuring artwork that represents the One Million Stars campaign to end violence.
Daytime cafes will convert to bars at night to keep the party going till the wee hours and promote camaraderie within and between teams. The main dining area has catering options to suit every taste, including a special section dedicated to Indian food!
Every requirement is taken care of by the 300-odd chefs, including dietary, religious and medical, among others. On the way out, you also pass by dedicated country-specific rooms, with Australia’s room getting a front seat to the house! Those green and yellow colours are unmissable, to say nothing of the cute koala sticker to indicate authenticity. These spaces together will see every sportsperson, regardless of sport, come together and unite through patriotism.
Each player also gets to take home a canvas uniquely designed by a Griffith University student and a Commonwealth Games Branded Quilt with an indigenous design.
Gold Coast goes green
The Village now hosts Australia’s first 6-star green rated building. With over 1,06,423 trees planted on site; the area is a breath of fresh air, quite literally.
The accessibility decision was a purposeful effort, not only to the 300 para athletes that visit but also to their families, by including accessible sinks in kitchens and hearing loop systems in major meeting rooms.
With so many meals prepared in a day it was imperative to have a comprehensive waste management plan including industry leading waste streams to maximise recycling and avoid landfills.
After the Games
The Parklands redevelopment where the village now stands has 1,170 apartments that after the Games will become homes, many of which will likely be for Gold Coast Private Hospital staff and Griffith University students. The hub of retail and commercial space is likely to expand and integrate into what Queensland calls Gold Coast Knowledge and Health Precinct. All these units are available for purchase and rent soon after.
Last word: the one-hour tour was simply not enough to see all the amazing things the Games Village has to offer! One thing is for sure: we’re in for one hell of a time with this event. And if you haven’t already booked your tickets, now’s the time.