CHENNAI: A couple of the key recommendations of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) directly affects Indian athletes. The body, during the Annual General Meeting, has recommended that only two disciplines — aquatics and athletics — be categorised as 'Proposed Compulsory Sports'. Among the Commonwealth, India are historically bad in these two disciplines.
"The latest recommendation is for athletics and swimming to be the only two compulsory sports, given their historical place on the programme since 1930 and on the basis of universality, participation, broadcasting, spectator interest, Para inclusion and gender balance," the roadmap, found on the body's website, says.
However, as part of the recommended pathway for the upcoming two CWGs from 2026, they have included T20 (both men and women) as a 'proposed core sport'. It was an 'optional sport' previously. With T20 now in the running to be included in the Olympics, this is perhaps a logical step.
Another recommendation that is progressive is the CGF opening the door for multiple hosts. "Allow and encourage innovative co-hosting proposals, across multiple cities, regions, countries". Not just that, but in exceptional circumstances, the body also wouldn't mind a non-CWG nation hosting a part of the programme. "Only in exceptional cases, allow co-hosting to be inclusive of non-Commonwealth hosts."
Among other recommendations that catch the eye is the CGF have now opened the door to the hosts to propose new sports for standalone programmes. "Allow hosts to be able to propose entirely new sports, relevant to their nation, culture or wider strategy, to drive innovation or enhance cultural showcasing and community engagement," the roadmap continues. There is even a willingness to explore the option of 'multi-site athlete villages in markets that do not require new infrastructure.
These are just key recommendations and they will work with International Federations in the coming months. "Work with IFs to determine innovative competition formats or included disciplines, to increase reach, appeal and efficiency," the roadmap adds.
Both shooting and archery, which will not be held next year during the 2022 Games in Birmingham, will be in the programme as a 'core sport'. Their original absence from the programme had caused the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) to threaten a withdrawal from the Games. The CGF then allowed those two events to be held in India before that was cancelled earlier this year.