26 July 2022
There’s something special about the Commonwealth Games. It goes beyond just medal success and bragging rights against our most passionate sporting rivals. The Commonwealth Games carries a magic sense of opportunity and discovery.
An open letter from ASC CEO, Kieren Perkins OAM
The Commonwealth Games was the event that ignited my own self-belief as a young athlete and, for sure, it will continue to be a catalyst for Aussie sporting success as we commence this exciting Green and Gold runway towards the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games and beyond.
At these upcoming Birmingham Games we’ll naturally celebrate champions who stand on the podium, but equally I look forward to seeing those emerging young athletes who take the next steps in their sporting careers. The Commonwealth Games help create World, Olympic and Paralympic champions of the future.
The Commonwealth Games will continue to play an essential role over the next decade, which is shaping as a defining era for Australian sport.
After Birmingham, the Commonwealth Games will return to Australian shores in 2026, in Victoria. It will be among a throng of world cups and world championships that will be hosted in Australia over the coming years, across sports such as cricket, basketball, cycling, football, rugby, netball and more. This is our Green and Gold runway to Brisbane 2032.
You can never overstate the incredible experience of competing in your home country, especially in global events. It’s not just the grandstands that are full of green and gold, but also in the streets, shopfronts and communities.
The inspiration is infectious. There will be kids and aspiring athletes who attended the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games who will be dreaming of representing Australia at the 2026 Commonwealth Games. There will be athletes at the 2026 Commonwealth Games who will be relatively unknown, but will emerge to be medal favourites at the 2032 Brisbane Games.
This is the important connection Australian sport needs to nurture, through every level of sport, from grassroots to international representation.
It’s why the Australian Sports Commission, through the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS), invests so strongly in our Commonwealth Games athletes and campaigns, through funding, innovation and technology, medicine and sport science, wellbeing and community engagement, coaching and leadership, and high performance facilities.
"I want to thank our many partners across Australian sport who have helped prepare this team for Birmingham. Australian Government funding and support is critical - Australian sport thanks you. To the state and territory institutes and academies of sport, our collective vision as a National Institute Network is making Australian sport more collaborative and effective."ASC CEO, Kieren Perkins OAM
There’s already a lot to like about these Games before they begin. Australia will be fielding our largest team ever for an overseas Games and it is more reflective of Australian society. There are a record 10 First Nations athletes and a record 76 Para-athletes on the Australian team, and Birmingham will boast more Para-sport events than ever before. For the first time, medal events for women will outnumber men.
The competition is fierce, but the Commonwealth Games are often referred to as the Friendly Games. There’s a collegiate nature.
On that note, I want to thank our many partners across Australian sport who have helped prepare this team for Birmingham. Australian Government funding and support is critical - Australian sport thanks you. To the state and territory institutes and academies of sport, our collective vision as a National Institute Network is making Australian sport more collaborative and effective.
Well done to Commonwealth Games Australia on getting this team to the start-line, also for the contribution of our Games partners Paralympics Australia and the Australian Olympic Committee. Then, of course, congratulations to our National Sporting Organisations, including the coaching and support staff who dedicate themselves to bringing out the potential in our athletes.
To the team of athletes representing Australia at these Birmingham Commonwealth Games, wear the green and gold with pride, savour the experience and give it your best.
Commonwealth Games Australia has a wonderful theme for these Birmingham Games which sums things up beautifully. Be Bold, Be Brave, Be Brilliant. If I can add one more - Believe.