Orienteering submits an Expression of Interest to be included in the 2026 Victoria Commonwealth Games

Mike DowlingUncategorized

O in 2026 victoria commonwealth games?

There is a chance that Orienteering will be a sport in the Commonwealth Games in 2026 when they return to Victoria and focus on regional locations like Bendigo and Ballarat. A Working Group of Orienteering Australia and Orienteering Victoria representatives in partnership with the International Orienteering Federation has submitted an Expression of Interest (EOI) along with a range of other sports.  We understand that 16 sports are confirmed for 2026 and there are 5 additional sport spots up for grabs. As a part of the EOI, Living it Live prepared an outstanding promotional video showcasing the excitement of international Orienteering and how it could effectively connect with Victorian regional centres that will host the 2026 Victoria Commonwealth Games. The decision to include the 5 additional sports will be taken by a combination of the Commonwealth Games Federation, Commonwealth Games Australia, and the Victorian Government.  The decision on additional sports is expected to be announced by late 2022
The strength of the Orienteering EOI is that we can help showcase the landmarks and tourist sites which we hope will appeal to the Victorian Government. Other strengths are that we don’t require a stadium or facility (low cost) and have recent proven experience in running world class events in Australia. Orienteering also ticks the box of having athletes that are “world class” given team GB, NZ and Australia’s performance in recent World Championships, World Cups and JWOCs.  We have also mobilised strong support from local councils, with particular thanks to the City of Greater Bendigo, and have a positive relationship with traditional owners of the land thanks to the Bendigo club.
The EOI proposes to run the three sprint formats as featured in the 2022 World Championships. There will be an individual, a knockout sprint and sprint relay.  If orienteering is shortlisted, we may then discuss the potential to have public races (after the Commonwealth Games events) and to make this a potential point of difference from the many sports that can’t easily offer such mass participation and active community engagement.