Ipswich will be 'a powerhouse' if Olympics come to city
IPSWICH would become a cultural, economic and sporting powerhouse if the 2032 Olympic Games is held in the region, Queensland's top athletics coach has declared.
Southeast Queensland Council of Mayors has announced it will progress a feasibility study into the region's suitability to bid for the 2032 games.
Queensland Athletics coach Stacey Taurima has backed the move and said Ipswich would benefit in the same way Western Sydney did through the 2000 Olympic Games.
"Western Sydney and Western Brisbane were basically the same, the Olympics changed that and turned Western Sydney into a thriving area," he said.
"After the Olympic Games... it gave so many employment opportunities and so much economic growth to places like Homebush and Parramatta."
A significant boost was provided to motorway and rail infrastructure, urban and commercial activity through the games.
Mr Taurima said Ipswich would foster more local talent with the international exposure.
"Southeast Queensland would become the new hub for sports if an Olympics came to Ipswich," he said.
"It would not only create employment but a lot more interest in Olympic sports."
Mr Taurima expressed his frustration with the lack of support for athletics.
"Ipswich has nothing," he said.
Mr Taurima's push for better facilities is echoed by respected Ipswich sporting coach Vic Pascoe.
The Ipswich and District Athletic Club president is excited about the Southeast Queensland Council of Mayors' decision to push ahead with a feasibility study into the games.
He believes the region can benefit from the Olympics if better sporting facilities are built.
Mr Pascoe reiterated the need for a synthetic athletics track in Ipswich; the same call he's been making for the past 15 years.
"That would attract lots of other teams prior to any games," he said.
"We could also have some lead-up meets."
Mr Pascoe said a top-quality synthetic surface would lure teams ahead of the games.
"It helps with the local economy because they have to book in somewhere to stay," he said.
"I'm sure the hotels around the place would accommodate anybody.
An international-standard hammer and discus cage has recently been built at the oval.
"That's a good start but a synthetic track is what we really really need," Mr Pascoe said.
While the Council of Mayors call for better road and rail infrastructure, the athletics coach has his focus narrowed on better sporting facilities.
"The main issue is finding a suitable spot and also the financial side of it is quite expensive," he said.
Ipswich District Athletics Club members volunteered at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games and at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games more recently.
Mr Pascoe said the games promoted a festival-like sense of community, and would have lasting effects on Ipswich.