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Hundreds of athletes to compete at locations around the Coast during Deaf Games

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More than 1200 competitors are set to feature in 20 sports at multiple venues across the Sunshine Coast for the Australian Deaf Games in 2026.

A two-year countdown to the event was marked at Kings Beach last week, when officials from levels of government, Deaf Sports Australia and the organising committee converged.

Minister for Tourism and Sport Michael Healy said the competition and the region were a great fit.

“This event not only highlights the incredible talents and achievements of deaf and hard-of-hearing athletes but also showcases Queensland as a premier destination for major sporting events,” he said.

“Our commitment to inclusivity and support for all athletes aligns perfectly with the spirit of these Games, and we look forward to a spectacular event in 2026.”

Sunshine Coast councillor Terry Landsberg said there was plenty of support for the event, which will be held from July 4 to 11 and could provide a boost to the local economy.

“There are some real capacity-building opportunities for all of our local businesses over the next two years,” he said.

Do you have an opinion to share? Submit a Letter to the Editor at Sunshine Coast News via news@sunshinecoastnews.com.au. You must include your name and suburb.

“This includes AUSLAN training to allow traders and their staff to be highly engaged with more than a thousand Deaf Games athletes expected to visit the Sunshine Coast in 2026.

“We hope this partnership helps to grow our region’s reputation as one of Queensland’s premier regions for inclusive events and promote accessible tourism to visitors ahead of us hosting the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

Government officials, event organisers and supporters started the countdown.

Games organising committee chairperson Kathryn Armfield said it could be a stand-out event.

“The committee is working very hard along with Sunshine Coast Council and Deaf Sports Recreation Queensland to achieve together the best Games ever,” she said.

“The Games will be held on the vibrant and picturesque Sunshine Coast, utilising the region’s great sporting, recreational and social facilities.”

The CEO of the event’s major sponsor Deaf Connect, Brett Casey, said the competition was highly anticipated.

“The Games are one of the largest events on the deaf calendar, and spotlight deaf space and community,” he said.

“The Games give the strength to state organisations, empowering them to bring together their local communities and compete in a friendly but fierce competition.

“The 2024 Games were a triumph of deaf community and spirit and 2026 will once again see the Games unite community from across the nation.”

The Caloundra RSL will be the main venue sponsor and Games Hub. The hub will showcase a comprehensive cultural and social program, a deaf community expo, a social and recreation hangout and hub administrative facilities and services.

The Caloundra Indoor Stadium will host the opening ceremony.

Caloundra RSL Services Club general manager Graeme Devin said the club was “honoured” to partner with the Games.

Deaf Sports Australia general manager Phil Harper said athletes were looking forward to the event.

“Already, wonderful preparation work is being done and the deaf and hard-of-hearing Australian community is engaged. Bring it on,” he said.

Discussions are being finalised with venues for the Games.

Likely venues and sports

• Caloundra Indoor Stadium: basketball, futsal, netball, opening ceremony

• University of the Sunshine Coast: athletics, swimming

• Mooloolaba Beach: beach volleyball

• Elizabeth Daniels Sports Complex: cricket

• Sunshine Coast Cue Sports Association: eight ball

• Sunshine Coast Regional Tennis Centre: tennis

• Sunshine Coast Recreation Precinct: chess, rugby sevens, table tennis, football, touch football

• Mooloolaba Bowls Club: lawn bowls and secondary Games Hub

• Caloundra Golf Club: golf

• Kings Beach Amphitheatre: closing ceremony

The Australian Deaf Games started in 1964. The 2026 edition will be backed by the state government and Sunshine Coast Council.

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