The Commonwealth Sport Foundation has been launched tday ©CGF

The Commonwealth Games Federation (GCF) has launched a new charity, the Commonwealth Sport Foundation, which it says will tackle some of the biggest issues facing Commonwealth nations, ranging from the climate crisis to racism.

A registered charity in the United Kingdom, it will play a central role in the CGF's Transformation 2022 Strategy.

Youth empowerment, equal rights and historical injustices are three of the five key areas the Commonwealth Sport Foundation will focus on, along with small and island states and sustainability. 

The foundation has been launched this week to coincide with the 90th anniversary of the inaugural Commonwealth Games in Hamilton in Canada, known as the Empire Games at the time.

"There has never been a more important time to fully realise the potential and impact of Commonwealth Sport," CGF President Dame Louise Martin said of the new venture.

"Commonwealth citizens and communities are faced with urgent issues and challenges impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, compounding longstanding or systemic issues relating to poverty, conflict, climate change, racial inequality, discrimination, economic uncertainty, health and wellbeing, education, the digital divide and post-colonial legacies.

"However, as we reflect on how far we have come since the very first Games in 1930, and our shared history, global and cultural diversity, I passionately believe we can be united by our common ambitions and collective impact, as well as our past.

"Through the Commonwealth Sport Foundation, inspired by our engaged athletes and communities, our aim is to shape a more peaceful, sustainable and prosperous future generations across the Commonwealth."

The Commonwealth Sport Foundation will focus its efforts on five key areas ©CGF
The Commonwealth Sport Foundation will focus its efforts on five key areas ©CGF

The CGF says the recruitment process to fill an independent Commonwealth Sport Foundation Board is underway.

Work has also begun on raising a £3.5 million ($4.6 million/€3.9 million) development fund stemming from the 2022 Commonwealth Games Host City Contract.

Birmingham is set to host the next edition of the Commonwealth Games in July and August of 2022. 

The CGF is seeking to make the Commonwealth Games part of a movement which can bring varied benefits to Commonwealth countries throughout the year with the Transformation 2022 Strategy.

In the wake of global anti-racism protests following the police killing of unarmed black ban George Floyd in the United States, it has also not shied away the less savory aspects of Britain's Empire, while chief executive David Grevemberg has insisted athletes who protest in Birmingham will not face punishment.

Dame Louise resigned from the Birmingham 2022 Board of Directors last month to improve representation on the body, following criticism over the fact only one out of 20 members of the Birmingham 2022 Board and Executive Management had not been white.

Sandra Osborne, CGF legal advisor and President of the Barbados Commonwealth Games Association and Olympic Association, was selected to take her place.