Panel probes health legacy of Games

Woman jogging beside Brisbane river at Southbank. | Newsreel
A free public event will discuss how to secure long-term health benefits for Queenslanders as a result of the 2032 Games. | Photo: Sol Stock

A free public event in Brisbane this week will discuss how the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games can provide long-term health benefits for Queenslanders.

On Thursday, Queensland Day, a QUT forum will bring together a panel of experts to explore the State Government’s Elevate 2042 plan, which identifies “sport, health and inclusion” as legacy benefits of the Games.

Head of the QUT School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences Professor Glen Lichtwark said the 2032 Games was a major opportunity to create more inclusive, active and healthy communities.

“Elevate 2042 really sets out those big picture goals of how Queensland wants to benefit from the 2032 Games – both in the lead-up and post-event,” Professor Lichtwark said.

He said for the Sport, Health and Inclusion legacy, there were two big targets.

“The first is achieving higher levels of physical activity for improved health and wellbeing.

“The second is about increasing participation in sport for everyone, through better accessibility and inclusion for targeted cohorts like Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander peoples and people with disabilities.”

Professor Lichtwark said there were also opportunities to improve nutrition and mental wellbeing alongside these targets.

He said achieving the Elevate 2042 legacy goals would take a coordinated effort.

“It will require integrated programs that work across different areas including sport and recreation, urban design, education, technology development and our health system more broadly,” he said.

“We also require an uplift in qualified people to implement strategies and measure the impact across these areas. We are hoping that this panel will raise some of the different opportunities.”

Professor Lichtwark said how Queensland measured success would be a challenge.

“Previous host cities have struggled to show measurable changes in overall levels of physical activity or other health markers.

“To demonstrate success, we need to not only focus on basic health outcomes, but also factors affecting wellbeing and focus attention on those parts of our society that have the least opportunity.”

The Real Health panel discussion, Achieving the Sport, Health and Inclusion Legacy of the 2032 Games, will be held at QUT’s Kelvin Grove Campus on Thursday, June 6, from 7am to 9am.

Interested people can book to attend in-person or receive a livestream link.