Let’s give more athletes opportunity to represent their nation


Plaid calls for more disabled sports at future commonwealth games

Plaid Cymru MP Jonathan Edwards has called for the Commonwealth Games to include a broader spread of disabled sports in future to allow athletes more opportunities to represent Wales.

The 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow will feature eight disabled events as part of its timetable, with 17 able-bodied sports.

Mr Edwards argues that having fewer events will mean that highly talented and skilled disabled athletes will miss out on the chance to represent Wales in an international event.

Mr Edwards said:

“The Commonwealth Games is one of the few opportunities that many individual athletes will have to represent Wales on an international stage, rather than compete under a UK banner.

“Disabled athletes first competed in Commonwealth Games exhibition events in 1994 and became full medal events in 2002. It is a fully integrated event.

“At the 2014 games in Glasgow there will be eight events for disabled athletes.

“While recognising cost implications of hosting greater numbers of events, Commonwealth Games organisers should recognise the opportunities that this presents as an opportunity for elite athletes to represent their countries in medal events, and seek to increase the number of medal events available.

“It makes little sense that an athlete, such as archery champion Jemma Morris from Carmarthen, may represent the UK in the 2012 Paralympics but not represent Wales two years later in the Commonwealth Games because of the choice of events for the games.

“I hope that the Commonwealth Games Federation will take this into consideration in future games.”