CHENNAI: With less than a year to go for the archery and shooting events in India, the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) has begun licensing related work for the two competitions, part of the Commonwealth Games that will be held in Birmingham later in the year.
"The CGF are currently working with the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), our friends and partners in India on the finalisation of the Licence Agreement for the 2022 Commonwealth Archery and Shooting Championships in India," the body's head, Louis Martin, informed this daily.
As it stands, the pandemic — because sport has shown it can take place in a bio bubble apart from the fact that multiple vaccines have been made available by health authorities across multiple countries — doesn't pose a significant challenge to the event but ultimately the IOA and the local health authorities will take a call on whether that event can go ahead. "We are very aware of the impact the pandemic is having in India," the administrator said. "The safety and security of the Commonwealth athletes due to compete at the event will be a top priority for the CGF and the IOA. This is an ongoing situation and ultimately, it will be a decision for the IOA and the relevant authorities in India to rule on whether the event can safely take place." Those two events are scheduled to take place in Chandigarh in January 2022.
With respect to the main event in Birmingham, Martin was optimistic that the Games will 'play a significant role in the post-pandemic recovery of the UK'. "At present, planning for the Commonwealth Games is still on track, although we are continually monitoring, evaluating and adapting to the evolving global situation, working closely with government, delivery partners and other major event organisers," she explained. "With 18 months to go to Birmingham 2022, the CGF is confident that the Commonwealth Games will play a significant role in the post-pandemic recovery of the UK."
"Our priority is to ensure our inspirational Commonwealth athletes have the safest and optimal environment to perform at their highest competitive level. As part of our rigorous approach to the planning and delivery of the Games, the Birmingham 2022 partnership has established dedicated multi-disciplinary teams that are connected to policy and medical advisors at local, national and intergovernmental levels to support our efforts. This will help inform our decision-making on all key issues in the months ahead. With Covid-19 vaccines now being rolled out globally, with plans to accelerate their accessibility being implemented by many countries, we are reassured in our belief that Birmingham 2022 will deliver an exciting and successful Games."
Last year, Martin resigned from the Birmingham 2022 board after concerns over a lack of diversity. Some of Birmingham's more prominent residents 'wanted more black and ethnic minority members to better reflect Birmingham's ethnic diversity (on the board)', according to the BBC. The Scot is happy to note the steps taken by the organising committee in this regard.
"The CGF is delighted to see the positive steps that our partners at the Birmingham 2022 organising committee have taken to ensure that their workforce fully reflects the city and region," she said.
"Following my decision to step down from the Board to support Birmingham 2022’s commitment to increasing diversity in leadership positions, I have been delighted to see three more significant appointments to the board in recent months, that have helped build on this pledge from the organising committee. Birmingham 2022 has now recruited a Head of Equality,
Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) who, as part of a wide-ranging remit, will lead a working group that has already been established. The organising committee is also working with their recruitment partner to ensure every vacancy reaches the widest possible pool of talent. We know there is more to do in this area, however, we are fully supportive of the organising committee. We are confident Birmingham 2022 will capitalise on the powerful platform the Commonwealth Games provides to make a meaningful contribution to equality, diversity and inclusion."