Chris Jenkins OBE, a distinguished leader, with a rich history in Commonwealth Sport and Sport for Development, has been elected as the President of the Commonwealth Games Federation [CGF] at its General Assembly in Singapore.
With a career in business and the world of sport spanning decades, Jenkins brings a wealth of experience to the role. His journey started representing Wales as a rower at the 1986 Commonwealth Games before serving as the CEO of Commonwealth Games Wales for 16 years and contributing extensively to the CGF as one of its Vice-Presidents and Chair of the CGF’s Development Committee. This has equipped him with a profound understanding of the Movement and its potential. Jenkins’ dedication to the Commonwealth Sport Movement is further demonstrated through his ongoing academic pursuits, where he is completing a PhD on a new sustainable model for the Commonwealth Games.
Jenkins secured 64 votes from the 74 member nations and territories, to the 10 of sole opponent Kereyn Smith CNZM, the former CEO of the New Zealand Olympic Committee and Commonwealth Games Association (NZOC) and Vice-President of the CGF.
In his campaign, Jenkins pledged to transform the Games, ensuring it shifts to a truly sustainable model. Central to his agenda were three key commitments:
Guide the Commonwealth Games to a sustainable model to attract host cities: Jenkins will re-model the Games, reducing the costs of hosting and exploring innovative solutions which allow more countries to host.
Develop and strengthen the Commonwealth Games Associations (CGAs): Utilising his experience as Vice-President, Jenkins will raise the profile of Commonwealth Sport, and each CGA within their own country, with a youth-focused media strategy which embraces the CGF’s reputation for doing things differently. As well as supporting CGAs to expand their capacity through regional delivery of development programmes.
Ensure all voices are heard: Jenkins is passionate about ensuring all CGAs, from the smallest to the largest, have a voice within the Movement and meaningful participation at every Games. To help achieve this, he will keep open lines of communication, form smaller groups of CGAs to provide input into specific challenges and ensure all meetings and the Games themselves are spread around the Commonwealth to allow all to participate.
Chris Jenkins OBE, President of the CGF stated: “I am deeply honoured and humbled to be elected President of the Commonwealth Games Federation and would like to thank all those across the Movement who put their trust in me. I would also like to pay tribute to Kereyn for her dedicated service and many years of sporting friendship, which I know will continue long into the future.
“As a Movement we will evolve and innovate to encourage more cities to host these wonderful Games. I am committed to managing change, delivering on promises, and making things happen. Working together, we will ensure a sustainable and inspiring future for our Commonwealth Games family.”
Today, the CGF is also pleased to announce the election of three new Vice-Presidents:
Sandra Osborne [Barbados]
Hugh Graham [Cook Islands]
Dr Donald Rukare [Uganda]
In addition, six Regional Vice-Presidents have been elected to join the Board. They are:
Africa: Colonel Botsang Tshenyego [Botswana]
Americas: Judy Simons [Bermuda]
Asia: Christopher Chan [Singapore]
Caribbean: Ephraim Penn [British Virgin Islands]
Europe: Helen Phillips MBE [Wales]
Oceania: Craig Philips [Australia]
As well as:
Chair of the Athletes Advisory Commission: Brendan Williams
The CGF also announced the following new members of the Sport Committee:
Penalva Cezar [Africa]
Andrew Brownlee [Americas]
Lt Gen Harpel Singh [Asia]
Cliff Williams [Caribbean]
Francesca Carter-Kelly [Europe]
Antoine Boudier [Oceania]
The CGF awarded Orders of Merit to Mike Stanley, CNZM, New Zealand, Robert McVeigh, Northern Ireland and Michael Cavanagh OBE, Scotland. In addition, Fortuna Belrose, St Lucia and Miriam Moyo, Zambia were made Honorary Life Members and Bruce Robertson, Canada, Life Vice-President, in recognition of outstanding service to the Federation.
Katie Sadleir, CEO of the CGF, remarked: “Today’s elections mark a new chapter for the Commonwealth Games Federation. Chris Jenkins’ election as President signals a transformative era ahead, under his leadership the Movement is set to focus on sustainable development, whilst continuing to stand as a beacon of unity, diversity, and equality.
“We are also delighted that such a diverse and highly talented, experienced group has been elected to the Executive Board. To those outgoing members, including our esteemed Dame Louise Martin, thank you for your service, your legacies will remain with us, and you will always be members of the Commonwealth Sport family.”