The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) is honoured to observe and contribute to the 8th Commonwealth Sports Ministers Meeting, a critical gathering every two years that brings together senior government leaders from across the Commonwealth to debate issues affecting the legitimacy and impact of sport as a fundamental force for public good and societal transformation that contributes to achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and specifically the Sustainable Development Goals.
We look forward to updating Ministers on how their sports leaders - from every nation and territory of the Commonwealth - unanimously endorsed Transformation 2022, the ambitious strategic blueprint which aspires to broaden the Commonwealth Games Federation’s focus from the four-year operational cycle of hosting Commonwealth Games to a more far-reaching role as a global movement – focused on partnerships, engagement and value generation - that unites athletes, citizens and communities.
The meeting is an important opportunity to talk about our journey so far and the critical role their governments and cities can play in the continued success and impact of Commonwealth Sport. Like the Commonwealth itself, the Commonwealth Games Federation has evolved and flourished: from the first Games held in 1930 in Hamilton, Canada where 11 countries sent just 400 athletes, the Commonwealth’s Sporting Movement has continued to grow in both stature and reach.
The most recent Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland in 2014 (where the last Commonwealth Sports Ministers Meeting took place) were a joyous and inclusive festival of sport and culture; and the next edition of the Games promises an inspiring and accessible sporting celebration in Gold Coast, Australia in 2018. Indeed, we’re thrilled that the Australian Government is chairing the 8CSMM as they reinforce the important role in Sport for Development and Peace that Australia and the next edition of the Games can play.
As well as updates on our upcoming Games, we will focus on our collective and exhaustive work at all levels to protect and promote integrity, transparency and accountability; and also talk about how, since 2000, a quadrennial Commonwealth Youth Games has built on our collective commitment to Commonwealth development and sporting excellence. The Youth Games bring together 1000 athletes aged 14-18, enabling smaller Host Cities or States to reap the benefits of an international multi-sports event. The most recent edition took place in Samoa, and the next editions take place in the Bahamas in July 2017 and Belfast, Northern Ireland in 2021.
It is our privilege to have this opportunity to engage with the Commonwealth’s sporting political leaders and influencers. Through our Commonwealth Games and Commonwealth Youth Games, and the important work of our members at national and grassroots levels, it is our ambition to collaborate with them and their government and civil society partners in building peaceful, sustainable and prosperous communities across the Commonwealth through the extraordinary power of sport.