South East Queensland is set to play host to the Australian Swimming Championships and the Australian Age Swimming Championships as they return to the Gold Coast in April 2021 following their cancellation in 2020 due to the impacts of COVID-19.
Returning to the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre, it will be the first national event held in the coastal city since the 2018 Hancock Prospecting Australian Swimming Trials for Commonwealth Games team selection.
Still mirroring similar timelines to what was planned in 2020, the Age Championships will run from 5-12 April and the Australian Championships from 14-18 April.
The country's open multi-class swimmers and Paralympic contenders will compete for national titles at the beginning of the Australian Age Champs, providing a vital racing opportunity before trials in June - effectively marking the start of the competition on 5 April.
The Australian Swimming Championships will provide a valuable hit out for Olympic hopefuls as they will have the chance to swim morning finals to replicate and prepare for what they will experience in Tokyo.
Age swimmers from all over the country will have an added incentive as the meet will be a selection event for the World Junior Championships and the Oceania Championships.
Swimming Australia Chief Executive Leigh Russell said she was thrilled to be able to confirm the venue for 2021 and provide some certainty regarding two important events in the national calendar.
“We know this has been a tough year for swimmers all around the country with so much uncertainly and opportunities for racing being limited but we hope this announcement will give all athletes around Australia something to work towards and look forward to,” she said.
“However, we acknowledge that it is still very challenging for our athletes in Victoria with ongoing restrictions for pools. We will continue to work with Swimming Victoria to ensure that swimmers will not be disadvantaged in qualifying and will be in a position to provide more clarity in the coming week.”
“I would like to thank Major Events Gold Coast and the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre for their support in bringing these two fantastic events to South East Queensland and the Gold Coast, we know they will be wonderful hosts.”
City of Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said: “The Commonwealth Games proved how capable we are of hosting a world class swimming meet and to have Australia’s best swimmers here at our fantastic facility is another feather in our sporting cap,” he said.
“In terms of the benefits, we know in the short term it will put cash into the local economy and generate local jobs, but in the long term it will attract future training camps, and strengthen our reputation as an international sporting destination.”
Major Events Gold Coast Chief Executive Officer Jan McCormick said: “We are thrilled that the Gold Coast has secured these much-anticipated Swimming Championships which will see the country’s best swimmers descending upon our city to compete at our very own Gold Coast Aquatic Centre,” she said.
“Featuring around 2,000 competitors and over 20,000 spectators, this major event will also be live streamed across Australia, helping to keep the Gold Coast top-of-mind as a destination for holiday-makers.”