Gold Coast 2018 unveils record para-sports programme

The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) has announced that the 2018 edition of the Commonwealth Games on Australia’s Gold Coast will feature the most extensive para-sport program in the history of the multi-sport event.

Sports due to be contested during the para-sport section of the Games comprise athletics, lawn bowls, powerlifting, swimming, table tennis, track cycling and triathlon. The athletics and swimming competitions will double in size from previous Games.

The CGF and the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation (GOLDOC) worked in partnership with the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and the Australian Commonwealth Games Association to construct the program. Para-sport contests will take place alongside other events at the Gold Coast Games, which is scheduled to run from April 4-15, 2018.

“We will be setting a new record in Commonwealth Games sporting history hosting up to 300 para-athletes and 38 medal events across seven sports, representing an increase of 45 per cent more athletes and 73 per cent more medals compared to the para-sport competition staged at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games,” Queensland Minister for the Commonwealth Games, Stirling Hinchliffe, said.

“I am also pleased to announce that there will be an equal number of men’s and women’s events across all seven para-sports – a further demonstration of the overarching CGF and GC2018 commitment to equality and inclusion.”

The CGF said that the expanded program forms part of its ‘Transformation 2022’ strategic plan, under which it had pledged to support and subsidise member federations to enable them to send larger para-sport teams to Gold Coast 2018 and future Games.

CGF president Louise Martin said: “The announcement to celebrate ‘An Inclusive Commonwealth’ ensures that the next edition of the Games will enable sports fans in Australia and across the world to support a record-breaking number of para-athletes at a Commonwealth Games.”

An integrated para-sport competition was first presented at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, England.