I was profoundly disappointed by the Victorian Government’s cancellation of the 2026 Commonwealth Games; and my colleagues and I on the Commonwealth Games Federation’s Athletes Advisory Commission know how deeply this has been felt by athletes in Australia and in every region of the Commonwealth.

The Commonwealth Games have such a proud history. The Games have delivered iconic sporting moments, delivered more medals for women than men, delivered an integrated programme that puts Para and able-bodied athletes side by side on the world stage. For so many athletes, representing your country at the Commonwealth Games, sharing experiences with athletes from different sports and different cultures, is the experience of a lifetime.

The news regarding the 2026 Commonwealth Games will be unsettling for many athletes already on their pathway to 2026. However, from my position as your Athletes Representative on the CGF Executive Board, I know that the CGF is focused on on-going good faith discussions with the Victorian Government and can assure you that once those discussions are complete, the CGF will begin its search for a new host for the 2026 Commonwealth Games.

As we prepare to celebrate the next generation of athletes at the Commonwealth Youth Games in Trinidad and Tobago from 4-11 August, I hope that everyone will come together in the weeks and months ahead to find solutions in the best interests of Commonwealth athletes.

Athletes remain at the heart of all we do and by supporting them to flourish, Commonwealth Sport as a whole will continue to thrive.

Brendan Williams
Chair, CGF Athletes’ Advisory Commission
Athlete, representing Dominica in High Jump at Delhi 2010 and Glasgow 2014