WE ARE saying Fa'ilte gu Sunshine Coast (welcome to the Sunshine Coast) to a delegation of Scottish visitors today.
Sunshine Coast Council has, for about 18 months now, been attempting to woo the Caledonian Commonwealth Games squad to our shores to set up its training camp ahead of the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
An 18-person Scottish delegation will arrive on the Coast today and Mayor Mark Jamieson said there were big plans to make them feel welcome.
"There are two things we have: Geography and climate," Cr Jamieson said.
"But we're also a very welcoming community that will make them feel very comfortable as well."
Cr Jamieson urged any locals who came into contact with the Scottish Commonwealth Games Association to put their best foot forward and greet the crew with the usual Coast hospitality.
While the squad will have to assess the facilities at the University of the Sunshine Coast and the Sunshine Coast Stadium, Cr Jamieson said the Coast's growing reputation as a training camp for athletes was another drawcard.
He said while it was regrettable the Wallabies didn't win the World Cup at the weekend, the team's pre-tournament preparations on the Coast had obviously stood them in good stead.
"(We have a) number of AFL clubs committing to come here for their summer camps and an alliance with the Melbourne Storm," he said.
"We have an opportunity to be a world leader in psychological preparation, physical preparation, rehabilitation and new training techniques that minimise the risk of injury across sports."
Cr Jamieson himself has Scottish heritage. His father's family came from Carluke, near Motherwell, where they owned the Crown Hotel some years ago.
He heaped praise on Scottish athletes, including tennis star Andy Murray (above) and cyclist Chris Hoy.
He reckons if the Scots chose the Coast as their base camp, we might even end up with a Royal visit during the Games.
"In my view, with our superior environment we will see other countries interested in preparing (for the 2018 Commonwealth Games) here on the Sunshine Coast," Cr Jamieson said.
Tourism, sport and major events portfolio Councillor Jason O'Pray confirmed Scotland was one of several countries council was working to attract to our region in the lead-up to the event.
Courtesy of Jenna Cairney of Sunshine Coast Daily