Commonwealth Games Australia CEO Craig Phillips is forecasting a sporting green and gold rush for all Australians in 2021 and 2022.
Speaking to the ‘On Side’ podcast for Sport Integrity Australia, Phillips said that due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, several major events have now been postponed setting up what will be a bumper year of sport starting with the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2021 and culminating with the Birmingham Commonwealth Games in July 2022.
Full On Side podcast interview: https://t.co/BdjM4Wpi3s
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Sports fans could see the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games from July 2021, the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in February 2022, the FINA Swimming World Championships in May, the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships in June, the World Athletics Championships in early July followed by the Birmingham Games in late July all within a 12-month window.
Phillips described the unprecedented schedule as an “exciting opportunity” for Australian sports fans.
“We will have an action-packed 12-month opportunity for Australians to celebrate the great achievements of athletes wearing green and gold… we see it as a wonderful opportunity for Australian sport,” Phillips said.
“We (Commonwealth Games Australia) are part of that and we’ve got to make sure that we continue to invest in it and that the Government continues to invest in making the most out of that.”
Phillips says an important component of both the National High Performance Sport Strategy 2024 and the National Sport Pan – Sport 2030, is the common goal of national pride, inspiration and motivation through international sporting success.
Phillips says that this cannot be achieved by desire alone and requires actual investment.
“One of the measures the Government has is providing pride and inspiration to our nation through its athletes, and there’s no more important time in our history than this right now,” Phillips said.
“As we hopefully get into the middle of next year and are exiting COVID, to have athletes in the green and gold, leading that rebuild, leading that excitement, leading that inspiration for our nation, it’s absolutely vitally important.”
When asked about the impact COVID-19 has had on the Commonwealth Games Australia’s member sports, Phillips acknowledged that some of the sports are “hurting” financially.
However, he has vowed that Commonwealth Games Australia will continue to play a key role in advocating for and securing Government funding on behalf of its members, as sports begin the road to recovery following the impacts of the global pandemic, in addition to Commonwealth Games Australia’s continued investment in sports and athletes through its own programs such the $13 million support program currently underway ahead of Birmingham 2022.