Birmingham 2022 organisers and the CGF Executive Board have announced the additional sports selected for the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, and shooting sports have not been included with both target shooting and archery missing out. Instead, the optional sports of Beach Volleyball, Women's Cricket and Para Table Tennis have been added.
The reasons provided for the exclusion of shooting circulate around financial considerations to provide a satellite site, combined with the lack of West Midlands community benefit for cash strapped local authorities.
The decision is subject to confirmation by CGAs at the CGF General Assembly later this year.
It will be the first time since 1970 that shooting has not featured at the Games.
The initial announcement that shooting wouldn’t be included in the list of sports set to be represented at Birmingham 2022 came out two years ago. But since then, shooting governing bodies across the Commonwealth have worked hard to propose a plan that would be viable for all parties.
Following a consultation period, the ISSF, British Shooting, STS and other prominent shooting federations across the Commonwealth had hoped that the Commonwealth Games Federation and the Birmingham Organising Committee would be able to find a successful solution to include shooting sports in the 2022 programme.
However, the Commonwealth Games Federation today reaffirmed their initial announcement of shooting sports not being included.
The news was met with dismay in the shooting world, with a petition on Change.org receiving 61,093 supporters.
From a parochial perspective, the UK’s home countries regularly secure around 30 medals between them in shooting sports, however those stats have been ignored.
For many nations, shooting sport is the only opportunity for smaller nations to win medals and at Gold Coast 2018, target shooting was the fourth most popular sport in terms of nation’s who participate.
Furthermore, larger Shooting nations such as India, Australia and the UK’s Home Countries are dependent on the Commonwealth Games performance, success and funding as part of their national Olympic pathway.
Shooting is also an extremely inclusive sport, with a para programme that could be easily integrated and add significant value, especially as each Games strives to be the most inclusive.
Shooting is also a popular spectator sport during the Games, with both Glasgow and Gold Coast selling out of tickets.
STS Chief Operating Officer, Oliver Barsby, said: “I am hugely disappointed for the sport and the talented athletes we have who get very limited opportunities to represent Scotland, rather than GB, at major competitions. Scotland has some incredible athletes and they have now been robbed of their dream of competing at the Commonwealth Games in 2022.
“What is often overlooked is that exclusion does not just hurt the performance arm of the sport. The benefits that come from the exposure of being in the Commonwealth Games, the inspiration it provides to athletes and the investment and positive impact inclusion brings to the grass roots end of the sport cannot be underestimated, so the damages of not including shooting will be felt across the sport as a whole.
“While there is an (unlikely) opportunity for changes to be made at the CGF General Assembly, it is important the shooting bodies work with our partners to do all we can collectively and individually to influence the inclusion of shooting in bids put forward for 2026 to ensure that is shooting is confirmed as being absent in 2022, this can be seen as a temporary absence, rather than the start of a long-term trend.”.