Pushpinder Oberoi, multicultural community ambassador for the GC2018 Commonwealth Games, on why he is thrilled the world of sport is coming home
A hospitality and tourism consultant, Gold Coast local Pushpinder Oberoi is the current president of the region’s thriving Indian Cultural Association. And at the moment a very excited multicultural community ambassador for the GC2018 Commonwealth Games. Oberoi considers it a privilege and honour to promote the Commonwealth Games, especially since the Gold Coast has been his hometown for the last 25 years. “So it feels great to be able to have the Games happen here,” says Oberoi, who is a member of Gold Coast Tourism.
You can tell Oberoi has sport coursing through his veins. He plays hockey, cricket, golf and table tennis and is an avid swimmer, and is looking forward to catching a few games of hockey at the GC2018, as well as watching weightlifting, but says that his favourite sportsperson of all time in India’s own Milkha Singh, “The Flying Sikh”. “He’s a track and field sprinter who came so close to winning India its first medal at the Olympics for athletics. He is a real inspiration for Indians, we’re all very proud of him,” says Oberoi.
Now, says Oberoi, he is just waiting for the games to begin so he can show off his favourite place in the whole world—the Gold Coast!
He talks to The Indian Sun on the games and more…
What is your involvement with the Commonwealth Games Gold Coast 2018?
Apart from being the Indian ambassador for the Games, I have also been selected Indian hockey captain, and as Field Marshal in the closing ceremony. As an ambassador, I am promoting the Games through social media networks, events, conferences as well as by connecting with travel agents and tour operators in India.
Is Gold Coast prepared for the Games?
Definitely. Whether in terms of transportation facilities or venues, promotion, accommodation, eateries, a games village… we have it all in place.
What are some of the highlights?
I think the highlights of the Games will be the opening and closing ceremony.
Who will you be supporting?
Well, I am an Australian citizen with a proud Indian heritage, so I guess I will be supporting both Australia and India. Australia of course will be on the top in terms of medals. I’m really looking forward to the hockey match between India and Pakistan on 7 April. Tickets are already sold out.
Your advice to people coming to the Gold Coast for the Games?
Inter-state visitors should plan well and make sure their accommodation is sorted out well in advance. I would suggest they come a week in advance and make it a holiday. Also, try to come in as a group.
Are the Indian associations here active?
In Queensland, there are various Indian associations representing different religions and cultures, all of them active. The Federation of Indian Council Queensland and the Global Organisation of People of Indian Origin are two important organisations bringing Indians together.
What are you most looking forward to about the GC2018 Commonwealth Games?
To see all the Commonwealth nations united as one family. It’s great to see people coming in with family and friends from all over the world to support their home countries and athletes.
The atmosphere is lively. There will be music, drumming, loud echoes, vibrations in the air. The Games are a magical time for a country.