Commonwealth Games: Only two sports to be compulsory under new proposed strategic road map

By Jamie GardnerPress Association
Cate and Bronte Campbell's sport of swimming and athletics are compulsory at the Commonwealth Games.
Camera IconCate and Bronte Campbell's sport of swimming and athletics are compulsory at the Commonwealth Games. Credit: AP

The Commonwealth Games could undergo “dramatic change” by the middle of the next decade, according to its new chief executive.

Future hosts will be given greater flexibility on the sports they include with only athletics and swimming compulsory under a new strategic road map for hosting in 2026 and 2030.

The road map, approved by the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) in October, has set the optimum number of sports at 15 and the minimum at 10.

It allows for the introduction of sports popular in the host country such as lacrosse in Canada or kabaddi in India while also permitting Games to be staged across regions or even different continents.

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Katie Sadleir, who succeeded David Grevemberg as CGF chief executive in November, said the next next two iterations of the Games could “see some evolution rather than revolution”.

“But if we’re really true to having a world class, unique, innovative Games, by the time you hit the one after that you would think that you would see some quite dramatic change,” Sadleir said.

“But it depends how fast people want to go on the journey.”

Ahead of next year’s Games in Birmingham, England, Sadleir said the CGF had paused to consider the future of the event and resolved that “we need to do things differently”.

“There are some radical changes there (the road map) from what we would traditionally have done,” she said..

“It’s an organisation that knows it needs to reinvent itself rather than just repeat itself.”

Sadleir also said she would welcome a meeting with British diver Tom Daley who expressed concern after the 2018 Gold Coast Games about the number of Commonwealth countries where homosexuality remained illegal - 36 out of 72.

Daley has also called for countries where homosexuality is punishable by death to be banned from the Olympic Games.

“We don’t set the rules for all the countries but what we do do is to create a platform to discuss things that we think are important,” Sadleir said.

“I can meet with him and we can create an opportunity to raise issues in a safe environment. What I can’t do is go into the countries and change their laws.”

The CGF confirmed there would be a Pride House in Birmingham “to create a safe space for athletes to come and discuss issues, to raise the profile of the community”.

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