GC2018 set diversity and inclusion benchmark

It is 12 months since the successful Gold Coast Commonwealth Games were conducted, and the Games proved to be a triumph for equality and inclusion.

In a benchmark for gender quality, there were an equal number of women’s and men’s medal events on offer – a first for a major international sports event. It has set the standard for other international sports events to follow.

The Games staged 133 women’s events, 133 men’s events and nine mixed/open events as part of the Commonwealth Games Federation’s (CGF) strategy to ensure women and girls are equally represented, recognised and served across all areas of the Commonwealth sports movement.

“The decision highlighted the CGF’s strong commitment to gender equality a core value that differentiates the Commonwealth Games from other international sports events,” said Australian Sports Foundation CEO, Patrick Walker.

In addition to gender parity of in terms of medals and events, a record number of medal events were held for elite athletes with a disability, and these events were incorporated into the Games, rather than being run as a separate event.

Up to 300 para-athletes contested 38 medal events across seven sports, representing an increase of 45% more athletes and 73% more medals compared to the record-breaking para-sport competition staged at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

And parity and inclusion wasn’t limited to medals and events.

For the first time at a major international multi-sport event, the International Federations for basketball, hockey and swimming provided 50-50 gender parity for technical officials.

Other sports also took significant steps towards inclusion.

Rugby Sevens saw the number of female officials rise from 5% to 33% compared to the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games while several other sports also achieved major progress.

Lawn Bowls rose from 28% to 42%; Rhythmic Gymnastics from 86% to 100%; Badminton from 32% to 41%; Triathlon from 33% to 42%; Weightlifting from 34% to 43%; Para Powerlifting from 32% to 39%; Table Tennis from 26% to 32%; and Boxing from 13% to 18%.

Inclusion was not exclusive to more female officials in sport. The number of men officiating at diving, netball and artistic gymnastics increased from 28% to 41%, 21% to 28% and 47% to 53% respectively.

“We want more gender parity in sport and we are delighted to be funding diversity and inclusion sport projects via the PMSO Giving4Grassroots™ grants. Through the assistance of PMSO, we hope that parity and inclusion statistics in sport continue to improve,” said Mr Walker.

NewsDavid Turner