Rowing, BMX and golf added to Commonwealth Games list

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THE Commonwealth Games tree is set to sprout three new branches in 2026, with the addition of coastal rowing, BMX cycling and golf.

Australian organisers have cast their net wider than ever before as they prepare to host a multi-city showpiece, with 20 sports now confirmed for an event which will be staged in four locations across the state of Victoria.

Three of the chosen venues – Bendigo, Ballarat and Gippsland – are between 100-250km from Melbourne, with the fourth, Geelong, sitting on the state-capital’s outskirts.

Shooting is set to make a return, after being omitted from Birmingham 2022, while the likes of mountain-bike cross-country and 3×3 basketball are retained alongside core sports such as athletics, netball, cycling and weightlifting.

Island officials are set to stage meetings today and next week to start the process of formulating internal strategies for Victoria 2026 – although they are currently unaware of what selection policies will be implemented for the new additions.

The majority of Jersey’s athletes are picked based on performance standards marked out by the Island’s Commonwealth Games Association, but some events are populated by the Commonwealth Games Federation, using world rankings.

‘What we don’t know is how they’re doing the selection process for these sports,’ CGAJ president Paul du Feu explained. ‘Will it be us or someone else selecting, like they did for table tennis this year? For golf, they allow professionals to play in the Olympics, but we don’t know what they’ll allow here.

‘And we don’t know details such as the size of the teams and which events will be held.

‘But, whichever way you look at it, it is exciting because it does open doors. It adds to the opportunities and having these new sports will add a new dimension to the team.’

Jersey Rowing Club vice-captain Gary Briggs was among those delighted by the potential benefits.

‘The inclusion of coastal rowing is fantastic news for everyone associated with our sport, and provides another step toward the hoped inclusion in the 2028 Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles,’ he said.

‘As the sport continues to gain exposure, developments in boat technology are increasingly rapid and we strive as a club to support those athletes who look to compete at the very top level, which also increases the facilities available for every member of the club.

‘As a club and an Island, we continue to be very well represented at international events, with five rowers currently in Wales for the World Rowing Coastal Championships, and 16 competitors selected for the upcoming European Championships in Spain. Both our Youth Academy and adult ‘Have A Go Row’ sessions have provided entrants to the world and European events this year, and we would encourage anyone who would like to try coastal rowing to get in touch – whether you aspire to compete internationally or row here in Jersey.’

Nine para sports feature on the current schedule for Victoria 2026, although officials are proposing to add golf, rowing and road-race cycling to that repertoire.

Victoria 2026 – sports selected

Athletics, para athletics, badminton, 3×3 basketball, 3×3 wheelchair basketball, boxing, beach volleyball, coastal rowing, Cricket T20 (women), cycling (BMX, mountain bike, road, track, para track), golf, gymnastics (artistic), hockey, lawn bowls, para lawn bowls, netball, rugby sevens, shooting, shooting para sport, squash, table tennis, para table tennis, triathlon, para triathlon, weightlifting, para powerlifting.

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