Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate (right) and FIBA President Horacio Muratore (centre) were greeted with a traditional ceremony ©FIBA

The International Basketball Association (FIBA) has officially opened its new regional office for Oceania in the Gold Coast, Australia.

FIBA has become the first major sporting organisation to secure a long term future on the Gold Coast with the city’s support, reflected by Tom Tate, the Mayor of the Gold Coast, attending the opening of the new offices in the region.

Tate was joined by representatives from Basketball Australia and the FIBA President Horacio Muratore, as they were greeted by a traditional welcoming ceremony by the local indigenous community, before Muratore spoke of his excitement about the future of basketball in the region.

"It was a pleasure to meet with the leadership of basketball in Queensland," he said.

"The Oceania President, the Australian chief executive, the Queensland President and chief executive and the local Gold Coast Presidents and general managers all sat down and discussed the strengths and opportunities that exist for basketball.

"It was encouraging to hear the passion that these people have for our game and I leave the Gold Coast today believing the future is very positive."

FIBA believe that their new base will help them to serve 21 different nations, with the Gold Coast Airport set to provide them with direct flights to many destinations, including those in Asia.

The regional office is now set to play host to a Pacific Women's Leadership Programme in September with 12 women from FIBA federations due to take part in a 10-day workshop, while a three-day Congress is also due to be held in the Gold Coast next March. 

Commonwealth Games Minister, Kate Jones, believes attracting FIBA shows the Games will bring investment to the city
Commonwealth Games Minister, Kate Jones, believes attracting FIBA shows the Games will bring investment to the city ©Twitter

The coastal city in Brisbane is currently preparing to host the 2018 Commonwealth Games and FIBA is trying to build excitement for basketball ahead of the Games after confirming it has partnered with local basketball associations to hold a 3x3 event for 16 teams from the Pacific and several local teams.

Kate Jones, Commonwealth Games Minister, believes attracting FIBA to the city is a sign that the Games will help to boost the Gold Coast, with business and sporting events looking to invest in the area.

"The investment in sporting and community infrastructure associated with the Games is helping position the Gold Coast as world class host of major events and a great place to do business and invest," she said.

"With basketball set to be a popular sport during the Games, FIBA's relocation to the Gold Coast can only help build the excitement towards 2018."