Adelaide has won the right to host the Rescue 2018 Lifesaving World Championships.
The international event is one of the first to be secured through the State Government’s
$6 million Major Events Bid Fund, which was promised during the State Election and delivered in this year’s Budget.
Premier Jay Weatherill said the championships would bring thousands of people from more than 40 countries to Adelaide, and is expected to generate around $18 million for the state’s economy.
“This great event is the world’s largest lifesaving sport competition, with the athletes putting their important skills to the test,” he said.
“The world championships will be held over two weeks at venues including Glenelg beach and the world-class South Australian Aquatic and Leisure Centre at Marion.”
Tourism Minister Leon Bignell said the lifesaving world championships were held every two years, and attracted up to 4,000 competitors and officials, plus thousands of accompanying visitors.
“Adelaide last hosted this event in 2012 and we welcomed almost 10,000 competitors and visitors,
85 per cent of them from interstate or overseas,” he said.
“Rescue 2012 delivered an economic benefit of $16.5 million and reinforced South Australia’s reputation as the host of world-class events and festivals.”
International Lifesaving Federation (ILS) Secretary Dr Harald Vervaecke said it was the first time the Lifesaving World Championships would return to a previous host city.
“It’s surely proof that the lifesaving family – and especially the competitors – had a wonderful time and experience in 2012 in South Australia. I am very happy that the decision of the ILS board was unanimous, which makes the event even more special,” he said.
Surf Life Saving South Australia President John Baker said securing Rescue 2018 was an exciting coup for the state.
“Hosting Rescue 2018 will give us a great opportunity to profile our iconic sport as well as the important role we play as an emergency service,” said Mr Baker.
Events South Australia, in collaboration with Surf Life Saving South Australia, lodged the successful bid for Rescue 2018 and will sponsor the championships.
Other international sporting events secured for South Australia include the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup, the 2015 Pacific School Games, the 2015 Duathlon World Championships, the 2016 Club Crew World Championships for dragon boating, and the 2016 Australian Swimming Championships and Olympic selection trials.