Throughout my time here on the Gold Coast, I have felt what I think is globalization growing among the community. While it feels like it is in its early stage, I believe the Gold Coast is becoming more globalized because of one upcoming event, the Commonwealth Games. The Commonwealth Games are an Olympic-like tournament for the 52 countries who made up the Commonwealth of Nations (regions of the former British Empire).
The concept of events like the Olympics or the Commonwealth Games remind me of something Kevin Robins wrote book “Encountering Globalization”. He writes, “ … argues for the recognition of ‘ a sense of place which is extraverted, which includes a consciousness of its link with the wider world, which integrates in a positive way the global and the local’. A ‘global sense of place’ involves openness to global dynamics and also an acceptance of cultural diversity and the possibilities of cultural encounter within.” (Robins 244). Like many host countries in large events like this, the reason for hosting such a large event is to share the city or nations culture with the rest of the world. As Robbins writes, you are sharing all of your culture, while allowing people and cultures from other regions of the world come and interact with your people.
I have been able to see the changes required throughout the Gold Coast to help facilitate the events first hand. While studying at Bond University, I am enrolled in all Sports Management classes. Due to the school’s connection to the Gold Coast, and the Gold Coast requiring help to run the Commonwealth Games, our classes have been able to see what is going into this massive cultural event. First, we had a guest speaker come in and discuss the impact the games will have on the city, and how they are using previous Olympic games to help prepare the Gold Coast for the impending changes. She also discussed how events like cycling have designed the courses so that the cameras will show all of the Gold Coast’s various neighborhoods and regions. This is designed to show the world why the people living in the Gold Coast are so proud of their home.
Secondly, we were brought to Surf Australia’s headquarters, where we got a tour of their high performance facilities. This building showed us where some of the greatest athletes from around the world are brought to hone their skills for upcoming competition. It was cool to see athletes from around the world come to train with the worldwide masters of surfing, embracing their culture and the way the Australians treat the ocean. The city is preparing for the event too, by putting up sculptures and other cool pieces that show off Australian culture, like painted koala statues. The coolest pieces are large surfboards with timers, that countdown to the start of the games.
Seeing this has changed my definition of a global community. We defined it as, “All people around the world living by and fighting for similar social values and basic rights.” I think that the definition we have is too specific. We limit it to fighting for the basic rights of human beings, by why can’t it be more positive or more general. I would say fans of rugby from across the world coming together to watch a match in the Gold Coast or on television would be a global community. As long as there is a passion and people along the world are embracing it, there will be a global community for that. I think a better definition would be : “People all over the world coming together to support a common goal or interest.”
Robbins, K (n.d.).Encountering Globalization