Athletics Australia: Commonwealth Games Now A “Missed Opportunity” For Australian Athletes

Athletics Australia: Commonwealth Games Now A “Missed Opportunity” For Australian Athletes

Athletics Australia has described the Victorian Government’s decision to cancel the Commonwealth Games as a “missed opportunity” for the athletes of Australia. It has also expressed concerns that this will impact athletes competing in the Olympics and Paralympics.

In a statement, the national governing body for athletics in Australia said: “the Games has provided a pathway for Australian track and field athletes en route to the Olympic and Paralympic Games”.

It described the Game as being “instrumental in the development of athletics as well as other sports that rely on opportunities like these to grow”.

The body said the Victorian government’s decision to host the games regionally as “ambitious” but said it had been encouraged by the impact this could have on the wider Australian community.

Whilst training facilities are still being built, the cancellation would be an issue for recruitment and attracting additional support,it said.

“While we are pleased that the much-needed regional athletics facility, that was to be used as a warm-up venue during the Games, will still proceed in Ballarat, there are a number of other benefits a home Games could have provided our sport. Including for example, the recruitment and revitalisation of an extensive volunteer cohort, which provides the backbone for athletics competitions around the country”.

“The withdrawal now represents a missed opportunity to further elevate athletics in Australia and inspire generations to come. While we are hearing this news as it unfolds, we acknowledge that there is now a significant amount of work to be done. Athletics Australia stands ready to collaborate closely with Commonwealth Games Australia, the State and Federal Government to navigate the challenges now presented by the cancellation of the Victorian Games”.

Seven has confirmed that it was looking at the broadcast right for the Commonwealth Games but has not yet signed any deals. 

Pictured: Athlete Jimmy Turner

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