“We want every single nation and territory eligible to compete in the Commonwealth Games, including India, to be in Birmingham in 2022. They are all assured an extremely warm welcome from a city and a region that is home to 187 nations.
It’s important to remember that shooting is not a core Commonwealth Games Federation sport, it is optional. In December 2017 it was not included in Birmingham’s bid to host the 2022 Games.
In September 2018, five sports that were not included in the original bid – shooting, archery, beach volleyball, para table tennis and cricket – expressed their desire to be part of the Games. So the Birmingham 2022 Board committed to conducting a review, offering each sport a chance to be included.
The process we conducted was fair, logical and transparent and the assessment panel included senior representatives from key Games Partners including Birmingham 2022, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport; Commonwealth Games England and Birmingham City Council. Key criteria were set, written submissions invited, and face-to-face presentations made to the panel from each of the five sports. The criteria included: financial considerations; the availability of suitable venues; the potential for additional revenue streams from ticket sales and/or sponsorship; as well as alignment with the Commonwealth Games Federation Constitution and with the objectives of Games Partners.
Shooting scored highly on some of the key criteria and the Panel recognised the committed and enthusiastic submission from the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF), the International Confederation of Fullbore Rifle Associations (ICFRA) and British Shooting (BS).
However, the Panel determined that the proposed location for shooting at Bisley in Surrey offered little or no benefit to the West Midlands, in a Games with a significant proportion of funding coming from the region.
The Panel did offer the opportunity for the sport to submit an alternative Birmingham based proposal – most likely two disciplines in one Birmingham venue – but the ISSF, ICFRA and BS would not submit a proposal that did not include all four disciplines in a single Bisley-based venue.
As a result of this review, Birmingham 2022 proposed adding three sports – women’s cricket, para table tennis and beach volleyball – all of which can be staged in venues in Birmingham or the West Midlands, bringing additional benefits to a region that is providing substantial funding for the Games.
It was also felt that these three sports would bring a young and diverse audience to the Games, helping to enhance the existing programme and reach new audiences, while showcasing the sports to the local community, spectators and fans across the world, watching on TV.
This proposal was approved by the Commonwealth Games Federation’s (CGF) Executive Board at the end of June 2019 and is now subject to a vote by the 71 Commonwealth Games Associations. A final decision is expected in the next couple of weeks.
We have spoken with the CGF and understand senior executives hope to meet with the Indian Olympic Association soon to discuss their concerns. It’s our hope that we will be welcoming India to Birmingham in 2022.”