The Commonwealth Games is an event in search of its identity. It might have found it in Birmingham which has been a pioneer and forward-thinker for women’s and para-sport sports.
The Commonwealth Games Federation, sometimes seen as a vestige of the British Empire’s colonial past, has taken a new approach in Birmingham. It embraces inclusion and accessibility in an unprecedented way at major international competitions.
There were 136 more medal events for women at the Commonwealth Games than there were for men (134). Eight record-integrated para-sports have podium finishes, which count towards overall medal standings.
Louis Frapporti says this type of thinking will add new value and relevance to the Games. To commemorate Hamilton’s 100th anniversary as the first city to host the Games, he is leading a Canadian bid to have them return to Hamilton in 2030.
Frapporti told Reuters that the Commonwealth Games aspires to be “Olympics Light” but there are no ways to do this.
“The CGF’s openness for experimentation and innovation allows hosts to rewrite the script. ”
We are encouraged to be creative and innovative.
“We are at the forefront of building on what is occurring in Birmingham. What will happen in Australia (2026 Games host), Australia?
The CGF will be recognized internationally as a leader on issues such as accessibility, para-competition and other related areas. The CGF will compete in able-bodied competition by 2030. ”
As an exhibition sport, para events were added to the Commonwealth Games program at the 1994 Victoria Games. Eight years later, they were fully integrated in Manchester.
Para-aquatics and powerlifting must be included in every Commonwealth Games.
The Birmingham program includes 3×3 basketball, track cycling, table tennis and triathlon.
Para- and women’s sports are hugely popular in the West Midlands.
Women’s Cricket has sold over 160,000 tickets and para-athletes were cheered upon with equal passion.
Ellie Simmonds has been elected to the Birmingham 2022 board. She is also a multiparalympic and Commonwealth Games medallist. This is an incredible achievement for para-swimmers and para-athletes.
“Even on trams, people were discussing (para) athletes in exactly the same conversation as they were about other athletes a few weeks ago. That is something to be proud of. “