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Sports leaders from 71 Commonwealth nations and territories have started arriving today in Edmonton, Canada, for the annual Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) General Assembly – the highest authority of the Commonwealth Sports Movement.
The 2016 General Assembly, hosted by Commonwealth Games Canada and the City of Edmonton, takes place from 5-7 October 2016 at the city’s Chateau Lacombe Hotel. For the first time ever, the annual gathering of the Commonwealth Sports Movement’s global membership will open its doors to external sporting partners and stakeholders as part of an ambitious and topical day-long conference.
Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) President Louise Martin CBE said:
“This is an important moment for the Commonwealth Sports Movement as we meet in Canada, host nation of the first ever Games in 1930, to decide on the future shape and positive impact of the Games and Commonwealth sport.
I’m thrilled that we are launching, in Edmonton, our inaugural Commonwealth Sports Summit. It’s an ambitious addition to our annual General Assembly programme featuring an engaging and expansive conference agenda to support and inform our strategic direction towards building peaceful, sustainable and prosperous communities through sport. I’m looking forward to an inspiring week of external panels and perspectives focused on sport, human rights, integrity, equality and youth in the Commonwealth”.
The Commonwealth Sports Summit (taking place on Thursday 6 October) aims to help deliver the CGF’s vision to connect, engage and inspire all Commonwealth citizens through sport. In addition to Commonwealth Games Association members who will join the line-up to share their experiences and best practice, contributors at the Summit include Commonwealth Games Federation Vice-Patron, HRH The Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex; David Rutherford, New Zealand’s Chief Human Rights Commissioner; Minister Carla Qualtrough, Canadian Minister for Sport and Persons with Disabilities; Baroness Scotland, the Commonwealth Secretary-General and Chief Ava Hill, Mohawk, Wolf Clan, Chief of the Six Nations of the Grand River, who will discuss the engagement and empowerment of Indigenous Communities at major sporting events.
A panel of former Canadian athletes and Games organisers will also discuss the enduring impact of the 1978 Commonwealth Games in Edmonton.
Commonwealth Games Canada President Rick Powers, said:
“As stewards of an 85 year young global sporting institution, we have an opportunity at this Assembly to move the Commonwealth Sports Movement to a new level and contribute to the growth and achievements of the Commonwealth. The City of Edmonton changed the Games as host of the 1978 Games, and it will do so again by hosting this General Assembly and bringing Transformation 2022 to life.”
Edmonton’s Local Organising Committee Chairman, Reg Milley, said:
“From the inaugural Games in Hamilton, to our spectacular 1978 Games, Canada and Edmonton have a long and proud legacy of working with the Commonwealth Games Federation. With a shared vision for the development of sporting excellence, we are honoured to host this event and support the advancement of the Commonwealth Sports Movement.”
Over the three day event, delegates will receive updates on future Games and Youth Games, consultations with the CGF’s newly-announced Gender Equality Taskforce and participate in discussions and workshops focused on the CGF’s Recognised Sports policy, Development strategy and EqUIP internships programme. Gold Coast 2018 organisers will also formally request the presence of 71 nations and territories of the Commonwealth at the next edition of the Games as part of a formal invite handover ceremony. The ceremony will feature over 70 young pupils from Bellgravia School in Edmonton, who are twinned with a Queensland school as part of Gold Coast 2018’s Schools Connect education programme.
Friday’s business also includes an additional Extraordinary General Assembly, called for members to support a motion to adopt a refreshed constitution and newly incorporate as a Registered Company in the UK as part of the Transformation 2022’s governance recommendations agreed in Auckland at the 2015 General Assembly.
The official city Welcome Reception takes place on Thursday 6 October, at Edmonton’s City Hall, where delegates will be officially welcomed by His Worship Mayor of Edmonton Don Iveson and enjoy a multicultural performance in the presence of local Grand Chiefs.