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Commonwealth Games Federation to press on with transformation plan

The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) has been given the green light to proceed with its wide-ranging reform plan, as it seeks a new host for the 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games.

The CGF’s general assembly in Auckland, New Zealand today (Wednesday) witnessed the unanimous approval of Transformation 2022, the federation’s ambitious new strategic plan. The seven-year scheme aspires to broaden the federation’s focus from the four-year operational cycle of hosting its showpiece Commonwealth Games to a more far-reaching role as a global movement – focused on partnerships, engagement and value generation – that unites athletes, citizens and communities.

First unveiled in April, it includes proposals for a new sports programme of compulsory and optional sports, which now sees the number of compulsory sports at a Commonwealth Games increased from 10 to 16 – and the implementation of a sports quota system for the 2022 event, which was today awarded to Durban, South Africa.

CGF chief executive David Grevemberg said: “I’d like to thank the federation’s membership for their contributions, commitment and vision in unanimously supporting the new strategic plan for the Commonwealth Sports Movement.”

The strategic plan prioritises delivery across four key areas identified as: innovative and inspirational Games, good governance and management, strong partnerships and a valued brand. A number of objectives are grouped into these four strategic priority areas, including development initiatives, stronger alignments with Commonwealth stakeholders, new commercial partnerships and the creation of an ambassador programme.

A key element of the CGF’s draft strategic plan was the review of the sports programme for the 2022 Commonwealth Games and beyond. The proposals seek to increase the number of compulsory sports for women, increase the number of optional para-sports, create greater planning certainty for organising committees and promote and protect the participation of smaller Commonwealth nations and territories.

The unveiling of the plan in April detailed a compulsory sports programme for the 2022, 2026 and 2030 editions of the Commonwealth Games comprising: aquatics (swimming and para swimming); athletics and para athletics; badminton; men’s and women’s boxing; road cycling; artistic gymnastics; hockey; judo; lawn bowls and para lawn bowls; netball; men’s and women’s rugby sevens; squash; table tennis; triathlon; wrestling and weightlifting (including para powerlifting).

A pool of optional sports/disciplines is set to comprise: archery; basketball (3×3); cricket (men’s Twenty20); cycling (track, mountain bike, para); gymnastics (rhythmic); shooting (clay target, pistol, full bore, small bore); para table tennis; para triathlon; wheelchair basketball (3×3); and beach volleyball.

In other news, the Caribbean island of St Lucia has withdrawn its hosting rights to the 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games due to infrastructural and economic challenges. The Reuters news agency said St Lucia’s problems have stemmed from a fire that has caused severe damage to a hospital in the south of the island, meaning the national stadium has been adapted into a temporary medical facility.

The rebuild of the hospital has been delayed until 2016, having a knock-on effect for planned redevelopment work for the stadium. The CGF said Canada and Scotland have expressed an interest in taking up the hosting rights, with a new bidding process set to be opened in October.