Plans to remodel Commonwealth Games to help countries like Singapore become hosts

CGF president Chris Jenkins said, “We are going to remodel to a more sustainable future. We are also really exploring how we can raise the return to governments, so they’re getting much more out of hosting the Games.”

Deepanraj Ganesan

Deepanraj Ganesan

The Straits Times


New Commonwealth Games Federation president Chris Jenkins remarked that Singapore has “fantastic facilities”. PHOTO: THE STRAITS TIMES

November 16, 2023

SINGAPORE – The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) has plans to remodel the multi-sport event so that more countries like Singapore can stage it, even as it works to find a new host for the 2026 Games.

New CGF president and former Wales rower Chris Jenkins said after the general assembly at Swissotel The Stamford on Wednesday: “We are going to remodel to a more sustainable future. And the objective behind that is to attract host cities to come in…

“So not only reducing costs, which is part of sustainability, but also really exploring how we can raise the return to governments, so they’re getting much more out of hosting the Games.”

Jenkins, who remarked that Singapore has “fantastic facilities”, added: “We would love for the Games to come to Singapore. One of the things we have looked at is that the Games could come to Singapore or it could be that the CGF could sit down with some others in the Asian region and say we want to host some sports in this particular country and others in another country.

“So yes, I would love to see the Games come to Singapore. That would be a real ambition of ours, to bring the Games back to Asia,” said Jenkins, who secured 64 votes against 10 for Kereyn Smith, the former vice-president, during the election.

“I think one of the things you do when you look to make your Games more sustainable is… what are the strengths of your particular city, and what sports can you easily host without having to build expensive infrastructure.”

But first, the race is on to find a host for the next Games after Victoria’s pullout in July, citing escalating costs.

CGF chief executive officer Katie Sadleir said extensive work was underway, although she did not dismiss the possibility that the event could be moved to 2027.

“We are acutely aware that timeframes are tight and are committed to providing greater clarity in early 2024,” she said, adding that the federation has been “working intensely” with Commonwealth Games Australia to keep the Games in that country.

She said the federation is looking towards a solution in early 2024, adding: “We have been working intensely with Commonwealth Games Australia. They are very, very keen to keep the Games in Australia. And then there are three other regions that we are having conversations with, but they’re very much at a preliminary sort of stage.

“We would be flexible. And so one of the things that we have been talking about is potentially moving the Games from 2026 to 2027.”

The last edition in 2022 was held in Birmingham and attracted more than 5,000 athletes from 72 nations and territories.

Singapore’s overall medal haul for the 2022 Games was 12, comprising four golds, four silvers and four bronzes from events in table tennis, badminton and swimming.

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