The Sunshine Coast will host the 2023 AFL Masters National Carnival, the 40th staging of the annual event and the first time the region has held the event since 2011. The announcement was made at the conclusion of the 2022 AFL Masters National Carnival in Adelaide earlier this month.
Key points of this announcement:
- What: The AFL Masters National Carnival, the largest mass participation football event in Australia.
- When: Sunday, 1st October 2023-Saturday 7th of October 2023.
- Where: Sunshine Coast, Queensland. Matches at Maroochydore Multi-Sports Complex
- Who: In excess of 1200 players ad 1500 participants from all eight Australian states and territories.
- Estimated economic impact: More than $4 million, with 60% visitation expected by participants.
- Previous National Carnivals on the Sunshine Coast: 2006, 2011
Over 60 teams across seven age brackets will descend on Maroochydore in October next year to vie for the title of becoming AFL National Masters Champions. AFL Masters is open to both male and female players aged 35 and over, with women’s Masters being the largest growth area of the sport.
AFL Masters President Steve Eurell is excited about the carnival returning to the Sunshine Coast following a 12-year hiatus.
“The Sunshine Coast region has proven to be one of the most popular holiday destinations for our AFL Masters participants in the past with its wonderful climate, great array of accommodation choices, and tourist attractions.”
“When you combine that with the excellent facilities at the Maroochydore Multi Sports Complex then our National Carnival is primed for success,” said Eurell.
Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson said the AFL Masters National Carnival was another demonstration of the region’s ability to attract large-scale national events that has significant cultural and economic benefit and encouraged visitors to make the most of what the Sunshine Coast had to offer.
“As one of Australia’s leading tourism destinations, our Sunshine Coast offers visitors a wide range of memorable experiences with outstanding natural attractions and cultural options as well as a vibrant dining scene,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“I look forward to see all AFL Masters participants here on the Sunshine Coast next year.”
The AFL Masters National Carnival is supported by the Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland, and features on the It’s Live in Queensland events calendar.
AFL Masters General Manager Dr. Adrian Raftery anticipates that next year’s version will see record participation at the National Carnival as it is being held in the only place in the world where three UNESCO Biosphere Reserves merge to create the ideal playground for kids and “big kids at heart”.
“For AFL Masters competitors and their families, there is so much to explore on the Sunshine Coast. From 100 kilometers of sandy coastline and volcanic peaks of the Glass House Mountains to the tranquility of the Noosa Everglades” said Raftery.
“Next year’s AFL Masters Carnival provides an amazing opportunity to give yourself a free kick by extending your stay to delve deeper into the wonders of the stunning Sunshine Coast, Brisbane, and Fraser Coast regions.”
“Queensland Masters footy is in a great position. Both our men’s and women’s teams performed well in Adelaide, and we are developing plans for our inaugural women’s competition next year on the back of the successful launch of AFL Masters QuickKick. Teams from the home state are also typically buoyed with strong player numbers, so I expect us to be in the running for a number of championships in 2023.”