The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) and Gold Coast 2018 have announced that the largest para-sport programme in Commonwealth Games history will be showcased at Gold Coast 2018, comprising of up to 300 para-athletes contesting 38 medal events across seven sports.
The new programme represents an increase of 45% more athletes and 73% more medals compared to the para-sport competition at Glasgow 2014.
The para-sports programme at Gold Coast 2018 will include athletics, cycling (track), lawn bowls, powerlifting, swimming, table tennis and triathlon and there will be an equal number of men’s and women’s events across all seven para-sports.
Since Glasgow 2014, both the athletics and swimming para-sport programme has doubled from six to 12 medal events each.
Paul Blanchard, chief executive, Commonwealth Games England said: “We believe that Team England at the Commonwealth Games is the best example of England as it is today. Our team is diverse, inclusive and representative of England in 2016. Therefore, it is great to see that at Gold Coast 2018, we will have the chance – thanks to the support of the CGF – to be even more inclusive of England’s hugely talented and inspirational para-athletes.”
IPC president Sir Philip Craven commented: “At Glasgow 2014 the para-sport events were extremely popular and I am sure the Australian crowds will turn out in force to see some of the best athletes in the world line-up across seven sports.
“It is fantastic news for all Commonwealth Para-athletes that Gold Coast 2018 will stage the biggest Para-sport programme to date at a Commonwealth Games.”
Member associations will be subsidised to allow them to send large delegations of Para-sport athletes, it has also been confirmed.
Paul Brown, chairman, Disability Bowls England and former Commonwealth Games para-athlete said: “This is fantastic news for all para sports, especially for bowls. To be part of such a high profile event, will really allow us to develop further and to promote bowls as a sport for all.”