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Commonwealth Games keen to be ‘partner of choice’ for sports looking to innovate

Birmingham 2022 broke new ground and the CGF hopes to introduce further new formats at future Games.

3x3 basketball and 3x3 wheelchair basketball made their Commonwealth Games debuts in Birmingham
3x3 basketball and 3x3 wheelchair basketball made their Commonwealth Games debuts in Birmingham

The Commonwealth Games wants to be “the partner of choice” for sports to try out new formats, according to the Games federation’s chief executive.

The Birmingham 2022 event broke new ground with the introduction of 3×3 basketball, with T20 women’s cricket also making its debut at a multi-sport event and setting world attendance records.

Commonwealth Games Federation boss Katie Sadleir believes there will be much more like that to come at the Victoria 2026 Games and beyond.

CGF chief executive Katie Sadleir wants the Commonwealth Games to be at the forefront of sporting innovation
CGF chief executive Katie Sadleir wants the Commonwealth Games to be at the forefront of sporting innovation (Zac Goodwin/PA)

Sadleir said: “I have focused quite a lot of my time during this Games meeting with the chief executives and the presidents of the international federations, hosting them, understanding where they’re going, we want to make sure that the Commonwealth Games Federation is the partner of choice when it comes to trialling up different things.

“The discussions have been ‘What is your next thing? What does it look like? How have you thought about rolling it out? How can we work with you on that?’

“We want to be known as an innovative, evolving, relevant Games and we want to do that in partnership with the federations and they’ve come back with some really exciting things.”

The Australian state of Victoria will host the next edition of the Games in 2026 across four regional hubs.

The chief executive of the local organising committee said: “I think we’ll have innovative formats of dynamic sports, which are just going to be another platform, a global platform, a world-class platform for sporting excellence, and I think that’s what ultimately these Games will be remembered for.”

The Victoria Games will be the first hosted on a multi-city basis, with an athlete village located in each hub.

It could well be a testing ground as the Games evolves to similar multi-city, and even multi-country, hosts in the future.

Sadleir said there had been “three or four” informal expressions of interest already in hosting future Games.

She also said there had been a “real will and desire”, particularly from the sports ministers of African nations who she spoke to at a pre-Games summit, to discuss a multi-country approach.

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