CGF response to comments made by Dr Narinder Batra, President of the Indian Olympic Association

CGF CEO David Grevemberg CBE said: Our visit to India in November is hugely important. Our focus is on providing great opportunities to Indian athletes. Our approach will be to respect, listen, learn and contribute. We look forward to meeting our colleagues and friends in India to cover the following three areas:

To provide any further clarification necessary on the composition and process for determining the Commonwealth Games Sports Programme, recognising the concerns raised by India (including relations going forward with the ISSF and ICFRA);

To have the opportunity to see and discuss first-hand the continuing legacy of the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games (infrastructure, sport, economic and social); and

The opportunity to meet with athletes, Regional Sport Bodies and Federations in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore to present and discuss Transformation 2022 Refresh: The Commonwealth Sport Strategic Plan (2019-2022) and India’s engagement moving forward.

We passionately believe that the modern Commonwealth and the Commonwealth Sport Movement is more relevant than ever before and that India has a vital role to play. Our shared vision must learn from but go beyond the shared colonial history of the Commonwealth and, through sport, create peaceful, sustainable and prosperous communities across our 71 diverse nations and territories.

We want to use sport, the Commonwealth Games and Commonwealth Sport to take big steps to address issues like the legacy of slavery, religious sectarianism, gender equality and the rights of indigenous people and other marginalised groups. We hope India will play a big role in supporting and contributing to this. There is huge collective value in collaborating with countries with a shared history.

The CGF has undergone a tremendous transformation and our strategic plan reflects that. It was refreshed in consultation with all our members, including India. We know the next Commonwealth Games at Birmingham 2022 has all the ingredients to be a great success. The Games will have the largest-ever female and Para-sport programme in history and we want India to be part of this. It will be an amazing experience for all Indian athletes. With the significant Indian community across Birmingham and the West Midlands, there will be huge support for the country.

We hope we can take this opportunity to ensure India does have a leadership role in the Commonwealth. This is a chance to understand and support India’s ambitions in Commonwealth Sport and we are going to India in order to work in collaboration with our friends and partners.

25 Years at #1: Your best source of news about the Olympics is, for subscribers only