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Beach volleyball gains support as Commonwealth sport
Tuesday, 10 May 2011
The 71 member countries of the Commonwealth Games Federation will be asked to vote on the right for future hosts to include Beach Volleyball at their Commonwealth Games when they meet at General Assembly in St Kitts and Nevis in November.
It’s one of the key recommendations arising out of the quadrennial review of the Commonwealth Games sports program undertaken in Malaysia this week.
The CGF Executive Board, which met in Kuala Lumpur over the past two days, will propose to the General Assembly that Beach Volleyball be added as a category two sport, meaning hosts in 2018 and beyond will have the right to include it in their sports programme.
The Executive Board has also endorsed a push to get 20/20 cricket as part of the future of Commonwealth Games.
Sports Review Committee chairman and CGF vice-president, HRH Tunku Imran, said:
"It is fundamental that our sports programme continues to evolve in such a way as to sustain the Commonwealth Games as one of the world’s leading multi-sport events.
Given cricket‘s strong association with the Commonwealth, the CGF will have further dialogue with the ICC as to the possibility of 20/20 cricket being included as an option for future editions of the Games."
Rugby League also made a push for inclusion, and while the sport will not join Beach Volleyball as a category two sport at this stage, it has won executive board support for inclusion as a category three sport, an important first step toward its presence at future Games.
CGF vice-president Imran said:
"Category three sports are those that we recognise as working towards future inclusion.
We are very pleased to see the high level of commitment by the Rugby League International Federation to further develop the sport across the Commonwealth. It is a key criteria that any sport on our programme is played widely across as many of our member nations as possible."
The list of category one sports remains unaltered – Aquatics-Swimming, Athletics, Badminton, Boxing (Men only), Hockey, Lawn Bowls, Netball (Women only), Rugby 7s (Men only), Squash and Weightlifting – but there are a number of changes proposed within events to be contested in those sports.
The Executive Board will recommend that synchronised swimming and synchronised diving be re-classified as category three events i.e. recognised but not eligible for inclusion within the sports programme.
The recommendations also propose that race-walks to be moved to category two event status - optional but no longer compulsory.
It is proposed that the total number of entries allowed in the singles events in racquet sports - including badminton, squash and table tennis be standardised at three men and three women per event per country.
The Sports Review Committee has recommended, subject to the concurrence of the relevant International Federations, that the maximum number of entries per CGA per event for judo and wrestling be set at two per weight category, so long as the total number of athletes entered from a CGA does not exceed the number of events available. This would bring these sports in line with weightlifting.
There is also a move to have two bronze medals awarded in Judo.
Women’s boxing will be further reviewed with AIBA so the matter can be considered as part of the current review leading up to the General Assembly in St Kitts.
Women’s Rugby Sevens is also under consideration with the Committee recommending that it becomes eligible for inclusion in future editions of the Games.
Para sports are also an integral part of the Commonwealth Games programme.
The Review Committee has recommended that the CGF and the International Paralympic Committee, in collaboration with the host Organising Committee, identify and select the specific Para-Sport events no later than three years prior to each Commonwealth Games.
The Committee noted that consistent with the cooperation agreement between the CGF and the IPC, the IPC is currently undertaking a review of the Para-Sport programme, looking to put forward formal proposals ahead of the General Assembly in St Kitts.
The CGF Sports Review Committee received submissions that para-badminton and powerlifting be considered, and these will be forwarded to the IPC for their initial review and assessment.
The Committee’s recommendations will now be circulated to all the CGF’s members and International Federations for further consideration and comment and then formally considered by the CGF’s General Assembly in St Kitts on November 11th.