Victoria Sports Minister Martin Pakula is leading an Australian delegation to conclude a deal for the Australian state to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games ©Getty Images

Victoria’s Sports Minister Martin Pakula has arrived in the United Kingdom to officially present the Australian state's bid to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games. 

Pakula will outline Victoria's plans to the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) Executive Board, who are meeting here in-person for the first time since February 2020.

Among the things that Pakula will explain is Victoria’s concept for a regional Games spread across Australia's second-smallest state, but most-densely populated.

It follows a trip to Australia made earlier this month by CGF President Dame Louise Martin and chief executive Katie Sadleir which was described as "positive and insightful".

Pakula is going to be accompanied at the meeting by Linda Dessau, the Governor of Victoria, and a delegation from Commonwealth Games Australia including the President Ben Houston and chief executive Craig Philips.

The state should be officially rubber-stamped next month, meaning the successor to Birmingham 2022 will be in place when the English city hosts this year's Games between July 28 and August 8.

Andrew Abbott has been appointed to lead the Victoria 2026 submission after being appointed last month having joined from Creative Victoria, where he was chief executive. 

Existing venues will be proposed for the 2026 Games, with the event planned to be spread out across Victoria in line with a proposal made in the CGF's new roadmap.

This would mean that it would not focus solely on Melbourne, which hosted the 2006 Games.

The sporting programme could be very different, too, as the CGF roadmap says that athletics and swimming will be the only compulsory sports going forward.

"It’s not just about taking this off the shelf, it’s not just about re-running what was done back in 2006," Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews said last month when he unveiled the bid.

"This will be our vision to be a regional Victorian event.

"It’s about taking this amazing competition across many different sports into regional cities and towns [to create] jobs, tourism, visitors, economic activity, but also amazing legacy benefits.

"We would want this as far and as wide not just in regional cities, but in country towns as well.

"There will be points of focus that we will talk to the Commonwealth Games Federation about, about villages, about Opening Ceremonies, about all of those sorts of things.

"Victoria is Australia’s sporting state, and, if awarded, the 2026 Commonwealth Games would demonstrate to the world a new way to deliver the competition."

Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews has promised that the 2026 Commonwealth Games in Victoria will not just be a re-run of the successful Melbourne 2006 event ©Getty Images
Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews has promised that the 2026 Commonwealth Games in Victoria will not just be a re-run of the successful Melbourne 2006 event ©Getty Images

An update of the progress of Birmingham 2022, with the Games due to open in 136 days, will be the other main topic on the agenda.

More details are also due to be announced tomorrow of the three games to be played in the first Commonwealth Esports Championships due to take place at the International Convention Centre in Birmingham on August 6 and 7.

The Championships, which will run alongside Birmingham 2022 but not be an official medal event, will feature esports athletes from across the Commonwealth.

The Commonwealth Esports Championships will have separate branding, medals, organisation, and governance, led by the Global Esports Federation (GEF) and its community of partners.

Chris Chan, the CGF's regional vice-president for Asia and member of the Executive Board, is the President of the GEF.