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Gold Coast 2018 update: largest-ever para-sport programme, beach volleyball first

Gold Coast is hosting the Commonwealth Games in 2018.

The largest-ever para-sport programme in Commonwealth Games history will be showcased at Gold Coast 2018, with up to 300 para-athletes contesting 38 medal events across seven sports. Plus beach volleyball has been added as the 18th sport after an historic agreement.

The new para-sport programme represents an increase of 45% more athletes and 73% more medals compared to the record-breaking para-sport competition at Glasgow 2014.

Paul Brown, Chairman of 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.

The Commonwealth Sports Movement’s first-ever ring-fenced quota system for para-sport athletes also ensures that Team England, and all of the Commonwealth Games Federation’s other member associations, are supported and subsidised to send larger para-sport teams to Gold Coast 2018 than ever before.

Gold Coast 2018 will also feature beach volleyball – a first for the Commonwealth Games. This historic move will see an increase in the number of sports at the Games from 17 to 18 for the first time.

The agreement was struck between the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), the Queensland Government, the Australian Commonwealth Games Association (ACGA) and the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation (GOLDOC) to pave the way for beach volleyball’s inclusion.

President of the Commonwealth Games Federation, Louise Martin CBE, endorsed the decision to add an iconic sport like Beach Volleyball to the GC2018 programme:

The CGF Executive Board is delighted to approve the inclusion of Beach Volleyball in the sports programme 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.

In an area synonymous with exceptional beaches, the inclusion of Beach Volleyball has been welcomed heartily by Volleyball England chief executive Lisa Wainwright:

This is fantastic news which has been many years in the making. Our honorary president, Richard Callicott OBE has been instrumental in persuading for the inclusion of Beach Volleyball into the Commonwealth Games for both men and women, and we’re delighted that it will be part of such an iconic event.