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Olympics - Commonwealth Games
Commonwealth Games Birmingham 2022 starts with bang
Sports Bulletin Report BIRMINGHAM:-The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games began with a bang as a cast of 1,500 wowed 30,000 fans inside Alexander Stadium and a global audience of over a billion. The ceremony, planned by Artistic Director Iqbal Khan, told the story of Birmingham’s embrace of generations of Commonwealth communities and featured a range of artistic displays, including a crowd-pleasing performance from Duran Duran and a 10-metre high bull representing Birmingham’s historic Bullring market. Over 4,500 athletes will play at this year’s Commonwealth Games and squash players from seven countries took centre stage as national flag bearers, with Australia, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, Malaysia, Malta, New Zealand and Wales nominating squash players to the honour. For Commonwealth Games veteran Rachael Grinham of Australia, tonight represented a particularly poignant moment. The 45-year-old, winner of eight Commonwealth Games medals, is the first ever squash player to lead out Australia and the first female athlete to compete in six Games, having played at squash’s Commonwealth Games debut as a 21-year-old in Kuala Lumpur 1998. Speaking ahead of the ceremony, in which Grinham and co-flag bearer Ed Ockenden led over 250 Australian athletes, Grinham referenced the opening ceremony’s focus on inclusivity, saying: “I think it’s an issue that should be important to everyone.” On her record Games appearances, she said: “I’ve never been about keeping score of achievements and things like that. I’ve always just enjoyed playing. I love playing for Australia, that in itself as an experience is amazing to be able to do.” Despite Grinham being the oldest competitor in the Australia team, one squash flagbearer can point to an even greater wealth of experience, with 50-year-old Marlene West – who will be competing in the women’s doubles alongside Jade Pitcairn and in the mixed doubles with Cameron Stafford – led out her Cayman Islands teammates at her sixth Commonwealth Games.
Victoria, Australia to host of Commonwealth Games 2026
Sports Bulletin Report ISLAMABAD:-The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) has confirmed that the 2026 Commonwealth Games will be hosted by the State of Victoria in Australia and that squash will be one of the initial 16 sports on the programme. The announcement follows a successful exclusive dialogue period between the CGF, Commonwealth Games Australia (CGAus) and Victoria, where an exciting proposal to stage the major multi-sport competition across the State was agreed. The proposal capitalises on the 2026/30 Strategic Roadmap, which provides renewed flexibility to be innovative and creative in delivering the Games. In what will be a first ever predominantly regional Commonwealth Games, Victoria 2026 will be staged in March 2026 across multiple cities and regional hubs including Melbourne, Geelong, Bendigo, Ballarat and Gippsland. The Opening Ceremony will take place at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground. The approach will showcase the best of what the State has to offer and ensure a uniquely Victorian experience for the athletes and spectators. There will be a phased approach in creating the sports programme for Victoria 2026. An initial 16 sports have been put forward for the Games, with further sports to be added later this year. The CGF, CGAus and Victoria entered an exclusive dialogue period in February 2022. A CGF and CGAus visit to Victoria took place later that month. This was followed by a Victoria 2026 delegation presenting their 2026 Games Proposal to the CGF Executive Board in Birmingham, England in March 2022. The Proposal has now been approved by the CGF Executive Board, with the Host Contract to be signed in Victoria today. CGF President Dame Louise Martin said: “The Commonwealth Games Federation is absolutely delighted to award the 2026 Commonwealth Games to Victoria. Commonwealth Games Australia and the Victorian Government have set out a bold and innovative vision for hosting our major multi-sport event. “In Victoria, we believe we have found the perfect partner for the next stage of our journey. WSF President Zena Wooldridge said: “This a very special moment for the Commonwealth Sport family and on behalf of the entire Movement, I would like to congratulate Commonwealth Games Australia and Victoria on their successful Games submission. “We now look forward to a bright future as we work together to stage a Commonwealth Games like no other.” The 2026 Games will be the 23rd edition of the major multi-sport competition, which first began in Hamilton, Canada in 1930. Victoria is a world leading major events and tourism destination. The State has a strong track record for staging high profile sporting competition including The Australian Open tennis grand slam, the Melbourne Formula 1 Grand Prix and the Melbourne Cup. Victoria also regularly hosts elite cricket, golf and Australian Rules Football competition.