Exclusive: Canada planning to bid for 2022 Commonwealth Games

Sunday, 05 February 2012
By Tom Degun

Canadia athlete_with_flagFebruary 5 - Canada is planning to launch a bid for the 2022 Commonwealth Games and has already been approached by a number of cities interested in being the candidate, it has been revealed by Brian MacPherson, the chief executive of Commonwealth Games Canada.

Canada has a long and proud history at the competition as they are one of only six countries to have competed in every single Commonwealth Games along with Australia, England, New Zealand, Scotland and Wales.

They have hosted the competition on four occasions, including in Hamilton in 1930, the first time the event was staged when it was called the British Empire Games. 

It hosted the Games again Vancouver in 1954, Edmonton in 1978 and Victoria in 1994 and MacPherson admitted that the country is hoping to bring the event to the country for a fifth time in 2022.

"I can confirm that we are intending to bid for the 2022 Commonwealth Games and we have had already had a number of expressions of interests from cities wanting to be put forward for the event," he told insidethegames.

"The great thing from our point of view is that a lot of the cities that want to bid have come directly to us as oppose to us going to them and asking if they are interested.

"I have also been very pleased with the geographical spread of those who have expressed an interest in being the Canadian candidate because it gives us a lot of options with regard to what kind bid we want to make for the event.

"It is still early stages where we are gaging support both domestically and internationally for a bid and where we are accessing the winability of a Canada bid.

"But we have a number of interested parties so going forward, we are going to start narrowing them down before settling on a final bid to put forward."

Brian MacPherson_head_ad_shouldersMacPherson (pictured) was in attendance at the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) General Assembly in St Kitts and Nevis last November when Gold Coast in Australia defeated Hambantota of Sri Lanka by 43 votes to 27 to win the right to stage the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

He admitted that the Gold Coast victory will play a key part in how Canada bid.

"Obviously is Hambantota had won, our approach and our entire strategy would be different than it will be now that the Gold Coast has won," said McPherson. 

"Our real aim is to put forward the best possible bid we can."

Hambantota could come back for another attempt while Christchurch in New Zealand and an unnamed South African city could also be candidates.

"We know that there are other potential bidders out there but that doesn't make any real difference to us as we are focused simply on putting forward a bid with the right amount of winnability," said MacPherson.

Toronto is considered a potential candidate as the city will host the 2015 Pan American and Parapan American Games and therefore have a lot of existing sporting infrastructure in place a future Commonwealth Games.

"I can't say right now which cities have expressed an interest but we certainly feel like there are some very exciting options for us to consider at this early stage," said MacPherson.

Canada's last bid for the Commonwealth Games ended in embarrassment when Halifax was forced to withdraw from the race to host the 2014 event after the Provincial and Regional Governments wthdrew their support following a review which criticised the budget and overall plan.

The Games were eventually awarded to Glasgow, who beat the Nigerian capital Abuja by 47 votes to 24.

But Canada has the advantage of Bruce Robertson, the influential vice-president of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), and MacPherson believes he can play a crucial role.

"Canada has a history of holding important international positions like with Bruce and I think that shows that we are respected internationally," he said.

"That is clearly very important because it is the international members of the Commonwealth who will vote the hosts of the 2022 event.

"The CGF obviously want as many bidders as possible so we think we have a lot of support from all the right areas and it is now just about narrowing it down and finding a candidate that we think can host a great competition in 2022."

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