Thursday, June 13, 2024

Victoria state awarded 2026 Commonwealth Games, hockey in Geelong

The Australian state of Victoria has been awarded the 2026 Commonwealth Games, with hockey set to feature in Geelong.

The Games, set for March of that year, will return to Australia for a sixth time, although this is the first time that a state or region has been handed the multi-sport competition. Melbourne has previously hosted the 2006 Games.

Hockey was one of 16 sports confirmed for the 2026 Commonwealth Games. Australia has won six from six men’s gold, while the women have gleaned four from six titles.

Geelong, around an hour’s drive from Melbourne, will host events including aquatics, beach volleyball, T20 cricket, hockey, table tennis and para table tennis. Seven more sports are set to be added to the 2026 programme.

“This is a huge win for hockey in this country and adds to the green and gold runway for sport over the next decade with the summit of the Brisbane Olympics in 2032,” said Hockey Australia chief David Pryles.

“Hockey is extremely popular in regional areas and a host of Australia’s finest players have come from these smaller towns and cities.”

The 2026 Games in Victoria will come six years before Brisbane hosts the 2032 Olympics

Hockey Victoria chief executive Andrew Skillern added: “Hosting the Commonwealth Games in Regional Victoria will be a real boost to the sport in Victoria.

The Melbourne Sports Centres – Parkville is Victoria’s leading netball and hockey facility PIC: City of Melbourne

“It will provide a much needed profile and participation lift in some of our major regional centres, which is really positive for the sport.”

The hockey venue in Geelong has yet to be determined, although Stead Park has been reported.

“The Commonwealth Games Federation is absolutely delighted to award the 2026 Commonwealth Games to Victoria,” said CGF president Dame Louise Martin.

“Commonwealth Games Australia and the Victorian Government have set out a bold and innovative vision that provides an exciting new blueprint for hosting our major multi-sport event.”

Adelaide had been a previous candidate to host the 2026 Games but pulled out in 2020.

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