Australian State of Victoria to stage 2026 Commonwealth Games

At least six Para sports confirmed as part of the competition programme 13 Apr 2022
female Para table tennis player Melissa Tapper pumps her fist in victory
Melissa Tapper was one of the national stars competing at Gold Coast 2018, the last edition of the Commonwealth Games held in Australia
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By Commonwealth Sport and Paralympics Australia

The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) has confirmed that the 2026 Commonwealth Games will be hosted by the State of Victoria in Australia. 

The announcement follows a successful exclusive dialogue period between the CGF, Commonwealth Games Australia (CGAus) and Victoria, where an exciting proposal to stage the major multi-sport competition across the State was agreed. 

Para sport is likely to be another prominent feature in an exciting development for the Paralympic movement on the 10-year runway towards the 2032 Paralympic Games in Brisbane.

An initial sixteen sports, including six Para sports (Para athletics, Para lawn bowls, Para powerlifting, Para swimming, Para table tennis, Para triathlon) have been revealed in the first phase of Games plans, with more sports to be confirmed later this year.

Included for the first time at the Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games, Para sport is set to have the largest integrated program in history in Birmingham, Great Britain, between 28 July – 8 August, with 42 medal events across eight sports.

Paralympics Australia Chief Executive Catherine Clark said Birmingham’s commitment to grow Para sport integration and highly successful editions in Melbourne 2006 and Gold Coast 2018 means Australia is well-position to set a new standard in collaboration with the CGF.

“This really is exciting news for Australian sport lovers and particularly for the people of Victoria,” Clark said.

“For Paralympics Australia, we are ready to play our part with a focus on ensuring the Para sport component in 2026 builds on the extensive progress that was made during the Gold Coast Games in 2018.

“With outstanding performances from our Para athletes, rapturous acclaim from spectators and viewers alike, Kurt Fearnley carrying the Australian flag into Closing Ceremony and Para sport strongly embedded in the psyche of the Gold Coast Organising Committee, it really did create a wave of momentum that our movement here in Australia rode all the way to Tokyo 2020 and beyond.

“We want that momentum to not only continue, but to grow exponentially, particularly with 2032 on the horizon."

In what will be a first ever predominantly regional Commonwealth Games, Victoria 2026 will be staged in March 2026 across multiple cities and regional hubs including Melbourne, Geelong, Bendigo, Ballarat and Gippsland.

The Opening Ceremony will take place at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground. The approach will showcase the best of what the State has to offer and ensure a uniquely Victorian experience for the athletes and spectators. 

CGF President Dame Louise Martin said: “The Commonwealth Games Federation is absolutely delighted to award the 2026 Commonwealth Games to Victoria. 

"Commonwealth Games Australia and the Victorian Government have set out a bold and innovative vision for hosting our major multi-sport event. 

"In Victoria, we believe we have found the perfect partner for the next stage of our journey. 

This is a very special moment for the Commonwealth Sport Family and on behalf of the entire Movement, I would like to congratulate Commonwealth Games Australia and Victoria on their successful Games submission. We now look forward to a bright future as we work together to stage a Commonwealth Games like no other.”