The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) has announced Welsh businessman Chris Jenkins as its new president.
Jenkins, who had previously served as Commonwealth Games Wales chief executive for 16 years, will replace Scotland’s Dame Louise Martin in the role after she came to the end of her second four-year term.
Jenkins, who campaigned on a platform of transformation for the body with a focus on sustainability, won 64 of the 74 available votes from CGF member states and territories, compared to the 10 of his opponent, Kereyn Smith.
The two candidates were announced as the final contenders in August, with Jenkins set to serve an initial four-year term following the election at the CGF general assembly in Singapore.
Jenkins said of his election: “I am deeply honored and humbled to be elected president of the Commonwealth Games Federation and would like to thank all those across the [Commonwealth sport] movement who put their trust in me. I would also like to pay tribute to Kereyn for her dedicated service and many years of sporting friendship, which I know will continue long into the future.”
He continued: “As a movement we will evolve and innovate to encourage more cities to host these wonderful games. I am committed to managing change, delivering on promises, and making things happen. Working together, we will ensure a sustainable and inspiring future for our Commonwealth Games family.”
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Jenkins pledged during his campaign to reduce the cost of hosting the games and increase sustainability.
The cost of hosting the games is a pressing issue as earlier in the year both the Australian state of Victoria (which had been scheduled to host the event) and the Canadian province of Alberta, pulled out of the running to host the 2026 edition, which currently has no host in place.
In announcing Victoria’s withdrawal, state premier Daniel Andrews cited spiraling budgets and said initial estimates last year had put the cost of the games at AUD2.6 billion ($1.77 billion), but new estimates suggested it would be closer to AUD7 billion.
Money also represented the main reason why the Alberta government subsequently ended its own efforts to stage the games.