Following a Commonwealth Games Executive Board meeting held in London in early March, a new seven-year strategic plan entitled “Transformation 2022” will slowly be unfolding in the near future. The plan, whose primary focus is to expand the Commonwealth Games from its current state into more of a unified overall global movement, carries some familiarity to the International Olympic Committee’s Agenda 2020, released late last year.
Perhaps the proposal with the biggest direct athlete-impact is that of re-defining two distinct segments of sporting disciplines; “Compulsory” and “Optional”. The proposal also indicates that 4000 is the target quota number of athletes to be drawn from the compulsory sporting program, while 500 additional athletes could be derived from the optional set of sports. The idea behind the overall 4500 total number of athletes is that having a set number of compulsory program athletes would offer greater planning certainty for Games organizers, while the optional sports category would also offer the Host City the freedom to reflect local aspirations and objectives.
The proposed Compulsory Sports Program for the 2022, 2026 and 2030 editions of the Commonwealth Games includes the following disciplines: Aquatics (Swimming, inc Para Swimming); Athletics (inc Para Athletics); Badminton; Boxing (Men and Women); Cycling (Road); Gymnastics (Artistic); Hockey; Judo; Lawn Bowls (inc Para Lawn Bowls); Netball; Rugby Sevens (Men and Women); Squash, Table Tennis; Triathlon; Wrestling and Weightlifting (inc Para Powerlifting).
The subsequent Optional Sports category would comprise: Archery; Basketball (3×3); Cricket (T20, men); 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 Volleyball (Beach).
Pre-proposal, there were 10 compulsory sports and 20 optional, but the aforementioned lists now include 16 compulsory and 10 optional disciplines. Further, 10 of the previously compulsory sports remain in that category, with women’s boxing and women’s rugby now being made compulsory. Six that were previously optional have now moved to the compulsory category, including road cycling, artistic gymnastics, judo, table tennis, triathlon and wrestling.
Commonwealth Games Federation President, Prince Imran, said the following regarding the overall concept of Transformation 2022: “”The strategic plan recognizes the rapidly-changing landscape of international sport as we continue to develop the world-class sporting stage that is the Commonwealth Games. Most importantly, however, it presents a bold new vision for the Commonwealth Sports Movement, celebrating and connecting the athletes, citizens and communities of the Commonwealth. Now is the time to be ambitious and bold, as we build on our diverse heritage and forward momentum.”
Transformation 2022 will be voted upon at the CGF General Assembly in New Zealand slated for September.
The entire proposal can be viewed here.