In a Commonwealth Games first, Beach Volleyball has scored a spot in the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (GC2018) sports program.
The historic agreement between the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), the Queensland Government, the Australian Commonwealth Games Association (ACGA) and the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation (GOLDOC) will extend the Games sports program for the first time from 17 to 18 sports.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk welcomed the decision to include Beach Volleyball in the Gold Coast 2018 Games which was approved by the CGF Executive Board following a special request from the Minister for the Commonwealth Games and GOLDOC.
"I am proud my Government has been able to work with the Commonwealth Games Federation to expand the sports program and add Beach Volleyball to the GC2018 schedule," Ms Palaszczuk said.
"The Gold Coast’s beautiful beaches are a huge Games drawcard and Beach Volleyball is the perfect sporting fit for the 2018 program.
"The Games is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to showcase Queensland to the world and with Beach Volleyball now locked in to make its Commonwealth Games debut, vision of the Gold Coast’s iconic beaches will be beamed to an audience of over 1.5 billion people around the world."
CGF President Louise Martin CBE also endorsed the decision to add an iconic sport like Beach Volleyball to the GC2018 program.
"The CGF Executive Board is delighted to approve the inclusion of Beach Volleyball in the sports program of the XXI Commonwealth Games, which will allow nations to compete in more sports, engage and inspire spectators, broadcasters and commercial partners, and create a spectacular sporting showcase for the Gold Coast, Queensland and Australia on the world stage.
"This innovative, collaborative initiative, undertaken and initiated by the Gold Coast 2018 delivery partners with support from the CGF, is a fantastic example of the collective ambitions set out in the CGF’s Transformation 2022 strategic plan and we look forward to experiencing Beach Volleyball for the first time ever at a Commonwealth Games."
Commonwealth Games Minister Stirling Hinchcliffe said Games partners are in the process of assessing suitable Gold Coast locations.
"The Gold Coast has some of the best beaches in the world, which is why we have campaigned strongly to the Commonwealth Games Federation to include Beach Volleyball as part of the sporting program in 2018," Mr Hinchliffe said.
"Games partners will scout a location that showcases our magnificent beaches, but also is accessible and has the capacity to house the temporary infrastructure needed to meet international federation guidelines.
"I am confident that preparations will proceed quickly in full consultation with the community and key partners."
GOLDOC Chairman Nigel Chamier AM welcomed the decision and said Games preparations were on track with arrangements well advanced on the sporting, commercial and infrastructure programs.
"This announcement is a great outcome that will only add to what is already an exciting program," Mr Chamier said.
"The people of the Gold Coast, Queensland and Australia can expect amazing venues, incredible sport and a lifetime of memories."
ACGA President Sam Coffa AM JP was pleased to support the inclusion of Beach Volleyball in the Commonwealth Games.
"Beach Volleyball is a perfect addition to the 2018 program. We know it’s popular throughout the Commonwealth, particularly with our neighbours in the Pacific," Mr Coffa said.
Volleyball Australia President Craig Carracher said he was very excited about the expansion of the Games program to include Beach Volleyball.
"There is no better cultural fit for this sport than the beautiful beaches of the Gold Coast and this will provide a great opportunity to contribute to the Australian medal tally," Mr Carracher said.
"We are very thankful for the strong support shown by the Premier and Minister for the Commonwealth Games, GOLDOC, the ACGA, the CGF President and Executive Board, and the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB)."
The GC2018 sports program will include the following 18 sports: Athletics, Aquatics (swimming and diving), Badminton, Basketball, Beach Volleyball, Boxing, Cycling (road, mountain and track), Gymnastics, Hockey, Lawn Bowls, Netball, Rugby Sevens, Shooting, Squash, Table Tennis, Triathlon, Weightlifting, and Wrestling.
The final GC2018 full integrated Para-Sports program will be announced later this month.
The events will be staged across 18 competition venues with 14 sports on the Gold Coast, two in Brisbane (Shooting and Track Cycling), one in Cairns (Basketball) and one in Townsville (Basketball).
The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games will be staged from 4 – 15 April 2018.
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