Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) President Louise Martin has stressed the relevance of the multi-sports event in its role in championing equality, despite a reluctance by cities to host the Games
Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) President Louise Martin has stressed the relevance of the multi-sports event in its role in championing equality, despite a reluctance by cities to host the Games.
Martin, the first female President of 8 persons who have held the position, noted the progress towards parity among male and female, able-bodied and disabled athletes.
The Gold Coast 2018 Games will feature an equal number of medal events for men and women for the first time, with 133 on offer for each gender and nine mixed/open events.
Furthermore, the para-sport programme expects up to 300 para-athletes in 38 medal events across 7 sports, which is a 45% increase in athlete numbers and a 73% increase in medals, compared to the Glasgow Games in 2014.
In addition, 50% of technical officials in basketball, hockey and swimming will women and there will be an increase in the number of male netball technical officials.
The CGF is hoping a new partnership with international marketing agency Lagardere Sports will also lower the costs for hosting the Games and so increase its appeal.
Martin gave encouragement to Singapore to host the next Commonwealth Games, citing the small island city-state’s experience as host of the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in 2010.
She stated that the Federation was already working with 2022 hosts Birmingham to assure the city that they don’t need as big a budget as previous host cities.
In 2014, Glasgow spent US$1 billion, and Australia is on schedule for $1.6 billion this year, whilst the 2022 Games are estimated to cost Birmingham $1.04 billion.
In contrast, the most expensive Olympic Games in history were the Sochi Winter Games in 2014, at a cost of $51 billion.
Speaking to The Straits Times on the Commonwealth Games’ continued relevance and progress towards parity among athletes, Martin said: “As far as I'm concerned, we are the leaders of gender equality in sport and I hope everybody starts to follow us.
“That's why we're relevant – because if we're the first, I'm hoping the International Olympic Committee and all the international federations of sport will start to do the same thing.”
Read More: Louise Martin CBE, President of the Commonwealth Games Federation, welcomes the transformative and connecting power of sport with the launch of The Queen’s Baton Relay on Commonwealth Day, and looks forward to the 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games in the Bahamas, and the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia’s Gold Coast