Sports Minister Tracey Crouch MP has welcomed the largest, most diverse and inclusive Team England ahead of the 2018 Commonwealth Games. CGE will send the largest English team ever to leave these shores, and will ensure it is the most prepared team to ever represent England overseas.
Olympic Hockey Gold medalist Alex Danson and former Paralympians Lord Holmes OBE and Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson joined the Head of Sport for the UK Government Nick Pontefract, parliamentarians, representatives from around the Commonwealth and sports’ national governing bodies to mark 500 days to go at the House of Lords.
Following the announcement of £4m Sport England National Lottery funding to Commonwealth Games England, we recently outlined our detailed plans to take a fully supported and best prepared team of over 400 athletes to the Games – the largest English team to ever leave these shores for an overseas competition.
Sports Minister Tracey Crouch has said: “The Commonwealth Games is a fantastic celebration of sport that brings together countries from across the world, promoting inclusion and sporting excellence.”
The 2018 Games will see the largest ever para-sport programme in Commonwealth Games history, comprising up to 300 para-athletes and 38 medal events across 7 sports – with para and mainstream athletes competing alongside each other.
And for the first time ever in the history of a major multi-sport Games, an equal number of medal events for men and women will take place at the Gold Coast in 2018.
“I am delighted that Commonwealth Games England is planning to take a strong, brilliantly prepared team to Australia's Gold Coast in 2018, with parity amongst the men's and women's competitions on the number of medals available to be won," Tracey Crouch MP continued.
Commonwealth Games England Chairman Ian Metcalfe said:
“We plan to create the best possible environment for this largest ever English team to compete abroad. We can only do this as a result of the National Lottery funding we have received from Sport England. I’d like to thank them for their support. I’d also like to thank the Government and the Minister for recognizing the value of the Commonwealth Games as a sporting event which is both valuable in itself and also vital as a stepping stone in the development of English athletes seeking to win medals at the next Olympics.”
Lord Holmes of Richmond MBE, Britain’s most successful Paralympic swimmer and Disabilities Commissioner at the Equalities and Human Rights Commission said: “It’s a pleasure to support this event today. As a former competitor myself, I recognise the unique atmosphere and value of the Commonwealth Games to both mainstream and para-athletes. I welcome the ambition of Commonwealth Games England to send a large, diverse and inclusive team.”
Alex Danson, Olympic Women’s Hockey Gold medalist and athlete representative on the Commonwealth Games England Board said: “The Commonwealth Games is a terrific sporting event and an unrivaled opportunity for English athletes to excel on a global stage. Being part of Team England and getting the chance to perform at a global multi-sport event is quite different from playing in an ‘ordinary’ international and was an invaluable experience for me. I am delighted to see that Sport England has backed Team England with National Lottery funding, and this will be critical in helping Team England to send the best prepared team to the Gold Cost in 2018.”