By Duncan Mackay

Basketball Gold_Coast_2018October 17 - Basketball will be included on the programme if the Gold Coast's bid to host the 2018 Commonwealth Games is successful, it was confirmed today.

The only occasion that the sport has previously appeared in the Games was the last occasion they were held in Australia, at Melbourne in 2006 when the host country won both the men's and women's competitions.

Basketball was not included at New Delhi in 2010 and is not on the programme for Glasgow 2014.

Nor is it among the sports proposed by Hambantota, the Gold Coast's only rivals to host the Games when the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) will decide at its General Assembly in St Kitts and Nevis on November 11. 

But Mark Stockwell, the chairman of Gold Coast 2018, claimed that they had decided to add the sport to the programme because of its global appeal. 

"We have assembled a programme that we believe will provide spectators with a varied array of sports and competing countries with a number of different avenues to prove their abilities," he said.

"Basketball is very much a global sport, and as such, we felt it would be a worthwhile addition to our prospective Commonwealth Games programme."

The preliminary round would be held in the cities of Cairns and Townsville, two cities that play host to successful Australian NBL teams, while the finals would be played at the Gold Coast Sports Arena located at the Southport Broadwater Parklands.

The Commonwealth Games has ten core sports which must be part of the programme, including athletics, aquatics, badminton, boxing, hockey, lawn bowls, netball, squash, rugby sevens and weighliting. 

Then there are another seven sports from which each host city can choose, including basketball, cycling, gymnastics, shooting, table tennis, triathlon and wrestling, all of which the Gold Coast have chosen.

The decision to include basketball was welcomed by Patrick Baumann, the secretary general of FIBA, the world governing body, who is also a member of the International Olympic Committee. 

"Basketball is one of the most widely played and viewed sports globally, and with such a strong talent pool in the Commonwealth I welcome this announcement from the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Committee," Baumann said.

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

Related stories
October 2011: Gold Coast Sevens build-up will help Commonwealth Games bid claims Queensland Premier
October 2011: Exclusive - Battle between Gold Coast and Hambantota for 2018 Commonwealth Games is most exciting ever says Hooper
October 2011: Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games bid earns Jersey's vote
October 2011: Oceania reveal they will not be voting in a block for the Gold Coast
October 2011: Gold Coast 2018 to learn lessons from visit of top officials