The World Bowls Championships will be staged on the Gold Coast in 2023, more than three years after it was originally planned to be held.
Controlling body World Bowls (WB), host nation Bowls Australia (BA) and principal partners Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ) and Major Events Gold Coast (MEGC) have confirmed that the sport’s pinnacle international competition will be played from August 29 to September 10, 2023, some 1179 days after it was first meant to be contested before COVID-19 postponements.
Originally scheduled to commence on May 26, 2020, the event first suffered two postponements to its scheduling and was then ultimately cancelled due to travel restrictions impacting the 36-attending nations.
Organisers have undertaken to hold the first staging of a revised competition format in 2023, which will move to a biennial rather than quadrennial staging and do away with all barrier qualifying events to increase global participation, across the three previous planned Gold Coast clubs; Broadbeach, Helensvale and Musgrave.
BA Chief Executive Officer Neil Dalrymple said confirmation that the benchmark international competition would occur on the Gold Coast in 2023 was a coup for the region and for the sport of Bowls in Australia.
‘This exciting announcement ensures that the sport’s premier event remains in a bowls heartland, with unparalleled facilities and conditions conducive to the best staging of the event ever witnessed,’ Dalrymple said.
‘We’re very appreciative of the support afforded from the event’s key stakeholders, including Tourism and Events Queensland and Major Events Gold Coast, and host clubs Broadbeach Bowls Club, Club Helensvale and Club Musgrave.’
WB Chief Executive Officer Gary Smith said he was appreciative of all stakeholders’ efforts in reaching new competition dates to ensure the event’s viability.
‘World Bowls’ decision to now stage the sport’s flagship event biennially and allowing all Member Nations to be eligible to participate has been widely welcomed,’ Smith said.
‘Following the cancellation of the 2020 World Championships, scheduled to be staged on the Gold Coast, we are delighted that the beautiful Gold Coast with its excellent club facilities and outstanding greens are hosting the 2023 World Bowls Championships.’
Tourism and Sport Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the Palaszczuk Government had worked closely with organisers on the timing of the World Bowls Championships.
‘Our bowls facilities on the Gold Coast are a world-class legacy of the 2018 Commonwealth Games,’ Mr Hinchliffe said.
‘Queensland has also worked hard to manage the health impacts of the pandemic.
‘We’re eager to see this global event bring the best Australian and international competitors together on the Gold Coast, pandemic permitting.
‘We’re looking forward to August 2023, when we hope a large contingent of overseas competitors will be able to return to Australia for a genuine world championship.
‘Not only does then Gold Coast have truly the world’s best bowls infrastructure, it’s also Australia’s favourite holiday destination with Queensland famous beaches, visitor experiences and hospitality.
‘Right now, we’re optimistic about international bowls on the Gold Coast in 2023.’
City of Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said the event would showcase the region and welcomed the world’s best bowlers to the city in 2023.
‘To see our city host this incredible tournament underscores the hard work and planning that went into the GC2018 Commonwealth Games as well as so many other national and international sporting carnivals we have staged here since,’’ said Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate.
‘The world bowls championships are not only thrilling to watch but create a fever pitched atmosphere as competitors from different nationalities show off their skills. Go Australia.’’
The host nation’s BCiB Australian Jackaroos will be hoping to better their historic haul of five gold medals from eight disciplines earned from the last time the event was held ‘Down Under’, at the 2012 edition in Adelaide.
The Jackaroos were also the best-performed team at the most recent 2016 event in New Zealand, with four gold, two silver and a bronze from the eight disciplines contested.
BA acknowledges the invaluable support of Tourism and Events Queensland and Major Events Gold Coast in the preparation and delivery of the 2023 World Bowls Championships event.
2023 World Bowls Championships dates:
Practice: Saturday, August 26 – Monday, August 28, 2023
Week 1: Tuesday, August 29 – Sunday, September 3, 2023
Week 2: Tuesday, September 5 – Sunday, September 10, 2023