Louise Martin and David Grevemberg have claimed 2018 will be the Commonwealth's year in a New Year's message ©Getty Images

Louise Martin and David Grevemberg have claimed the Commonwealth has never been more relevant in a New Year's message, with the duo looking forward to Gold Coast 2018 and progress with Birmingham 2022.

The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) President and chief executive, respectively, stated they were eagerly looking forward to Gold Coast 2018 and asserted the Australian city would "welcome athletes and fans alike with open arms".

Competition is set to take place between April 4 and 15, with the Games billed as one of the most gender-equal multi-sport events in history.

Men and women will compete for an equal number of medals for the first time in Commonwealth Games history, while the CGF highlighted their efforts in promoting gender parity among technical officials.

This includes the implementation of the organisation's women's coach internship programme, which is aimed at growing the number of female coaches.

The CGF leaders claim the organisation are leading the way in positively impacting societies through sport, adding that their Movement represents sport with a social conscience.

"Take the work we have all done as the international sport leader in respecting, protecting and promoting human rights through our UNICEF partnership - which to date has positively impacted the lives of 11.6 million children Commonwealth-wide; or how we are leading the way in advocating reconciliation initiatives with indigenous people," the message read.

"We are emerging as the true global sport leader for gender equality issues, by openly addressing the imbalances existing in our sport movement for female participation and representation."

The CGF expressed their confidence in Gold Coast preparations for the Commonwealth Games ©Getty Images
The CGF expressed their confidence in Gold Coast preparations for the Commonwealth Games ©Getty Images

The CGF also expressed their optimism before the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, which will take place a week after the conclusion of Gold Coast 2018 in London.

Commonwealth Day will also be celebrated on March 12, with the milestone leading to the CGF claiming that 2018 is the "Commonwealth's Year".

The date last year coincided with the decision to strip Durban of the right to stage the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

It occurred after the South African city failed to meet financial commitments, and the CGF stated it was a very difficult but necessary decision.

"It is important to acknowledge that 2017 was a challenging year for the Commonwealth Sports Movement, as in March we had to make the very difficult, but necessary, decision to explore alternative options for the hosting of the 2022 Commonwealth Games, after Durban, South Africa, was unable to honour its original bid commitments," the New Year's message read.

"This is not a decision any international governing body wants to make, particularly as we had and have such strong ambitions to bring the Games to African soil for the very first time.

"However, the expressions of interest we received to host the 2022 Games from 11 cities across the Commonwealth reinforced the current relevance and resonance of our Movement."

Birmingham were confirmed as hosts of the 2022 Commonwealth Games last month ©Birmingham 2022
Birmingham were confirmed as hosts of the 2022 Commonwealth Games last month ©Birmingham 2022

Last month, the CGF Executive Board confirmed Birmingham as a replacement for Durban, following the completion of negotiations with the English city.

Birmingham was the only potential host to submit a bid before the deadline of September 30 but the CGF then ruled that their efforts were not "fully compliant" and extended the bidding process for a further two months.

There were no further bids received before the final deadline of November 30.

Birmingham was chosen as Britain's candidate city in September, beating a rival bid from Liverpool and receiving UK Government backing.

"Shortly before Christmas, we were delighted to announce the Executive Board's decision to select the city of Birmingham, England, as our 2022 Commonwealth Games host city partner," the CGF said.

"With its rich cultural diversity, youthful dynamism and ambitious spirit, Birmingham is truly a great Commonwealth city, and therefore will be a very fitting location to host the XXII edition of the Games."

The CGF also stated that in 2017 the organisation incorporated three entities, which included becoming a United Kingdom limited company.

The Commonwealth Sport Foundation (CSF) and CGF Partnerships (CGFP) have been established, with the former set to fund programmes and projects that contribute to the sustainable development of sport throughout the Commonwealth.

It was claimed the CGFP will be a pioneering joint venture with Lagardère Sports last July, which will help to deliver their new Games delivery model and Games commercial programmes.

The CGF state the CGFP’s work has begun, as preparations for Birmingham 2022 get underway.