The following is an open letter from the Commonwealth Games Federation Chief Executive Officer to the Editor of the Shooting Times regarding their concerns on the selection of optional sports at the XXII edition of the Commonwealth Games to be held in Birmingham, England in 2022.
19 January 2018
The Commonwealth Games sports programme consists of compulsory and optional sports and disciplines, and despite appearing in many past Games, shooting is one of the optional sports that Host Nations can consider when proposing a bid to host the Games. For completeness, further details on the Sports Programme selection processes are enclosed with this letter and also summarised below.
The status of Shooting as an optional sport was a decision made at the 2015 Commonwealth Games Federation General Assembly, and also reaffirmed in 2016 when the new CGF Constitution was approved. Importantly, these are not decisions taken solely by the Federation, but hugely important decisions voted on by our members in line with our Constitution. It was a decision made by the entire Commonwealth of Nations.
Shooting is a thrilling sport with a proud and longstanding heritage at the Commonwealth Games. We understand that there will be disappointment when an optional sport is not chosen, and especially so when a particular country has enjoyed medal success in this sport historically.
Nevertheless, we believe it is fundamentally important for the Games Partners; namely Commonwealth Games England, UK Government, Birmingham City Council and the West Midlands Combined Authority – and indeed for any other host city – to propose a sports programme that complies with our agreed rules but also works best for them.
As outlined in our Transformation 2022 Strategic Plan, our shared ambition is to broaden the pipeline of Commonwealth Cities and Nations wishing to realise the benefits of a Games – and to do that we must give our hosts the scope to propose and deliver their Games, in partnership with the CGF, in line with our vision and our constitution.
Birmingham is a diverse and dynamic city that has proposed an inspiring and inclusive event for 2022, and in record time. We know they considered all optional sports carefully, but a final decision was reached. The CGF has awarded the Games supporting these plans and consequently Shooting will not feature at the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
We do understand that this is disappointing to the shooting community and fans. We continue to build on our strategic partnerships with all sports across the Commonwealth Sports Movement – and the CGF President will shortly meet the ISSF to discuss their future plans and ambitions to continue the development of shooting disciplines throughout the Commonwealth.