Exclusive: Support growing for London 2022 Commonwealth Games bid
Friday, 28 December 2012
December 28 - Sport England chief executive Jennie Price claims that she would fully support a bid from the country for the 2022 Commonwealth Games following the inspirational effect of the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics.
After London 2012 proved arguably the greatest Games in history, UK Sport unveiled their Gold Event Series which looks to bring more major sporting events to Britain over the next decade and the 2022 Commonwealth Games is now starting to emerge as a real option for London, with the majority of facilities in place following the Olympics and Paralympics.
The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), whose headquarters are based in London, are understood to be hugely impressed with the 2012 Games and they would undoubtedly welcome a bid from the city.
And any potential bid would now have a high profile supporter in the Sport England chief executive.
"I think what the Olympics and Paralympics demonstrated is that bringing sport into Great Britain and into our environment where people can see it easily, relate to it and feel part of it is the most fantastic thing for sport," Price told insidethegames.
"It really does have an inspirational effect.
"After the Games, we had sports clubs across the country with young people queuing up outside.
"That really is testament to the inspirational power of the Games.
"So if we could have another injection of that inspiration in the form of another major multi-sport Games; that would be wonderful."
Price's comments come after Sport Minister Hugh Robertson also admitted he would be interested in bidding if he thought London could put up a competitive bid against other international competition.
"The Commonwealth Games are obviously in Glasgow in 2014 and then it is the Gold Coast in 2018 so the next bidding possibility is 2022," Robertson told insidethegames.
"On that issue, we would first have to look at who is bidding for it.
"I am a huge supporter of the Commonwealth Games and have been involved in several Commonwealth Sports Ministers meetings.
"So I would love to see the Commonwealth Games come here.
"But with the Commonwealth Games, the same sort of logic applies as it does with the Olympics in that it is an event that moves around the world.
"I think there will be quite a lot of countries that might look at a Commonwealth Games bid as a way of teeing up a future Olympic bid.
"So I would be very surprised if the competition in 2022 and 2026 wasn't very tough indeed."
England last staged the Commonwealth Games in Manchester in 2002 in one of the most successful editions of the event in history.
Birmingham and Sheffield have both expressed an interest in bidding for the Games.
Should London bid for 2022, though, it is unlikely that any other bid would be able to match them in terms of technical infrastructure, although the international bidding process will not officially begin until 2014.
Canada, New Zealand South Africa, Singapore and Sri Lanka are other countries currently considering bids but it remains to be seen if they will put forward formal proposals to the CGF when the process opens.
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