Shooting Australia has today confirmed the City of Greater Bendigo as its preferred host for the Shooting competition component as part of the Victoria 2026 Commonwealth Games.
In March, the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) announced an entirely regional Commonwealth Games in Victoria in 2026, with competitive sports spread across four regional hubs including the City of Greater Bendigo. Other sports that have already been allocated to the Bendigo hub include Lawn Bowls, Netball, Squash and Weightlifting.
On Thursday, Shooting Australia’s Chief Executive Officer, Adam Sachs, travelled to Bendigo to visit two of the three sites considered most suitable to host a Commonwealth Games Shooting competition in 2026 and meet with local government officials and Shooting club representatives. Sachs visited the Wellsford Rifle Range, (host of the full-bore Rifle competition at the 2006 Commonwealth Games), and the Exhibition and Event Centre at the Bendigo Showgrounds, (the proposed venue for Air Rifle and Air Pistol in 2026). Shotgun events would be conducted at the Victorian State Range in the nearby regional town of Echuca.
Wellsford Rifle Range, Bendigo
As Shooting Australia continues to engage with a wide range of stakeholders in the development of a proposal for Shooting’s inclusion in the 2026 Commonwealth Games Sachs says “We have been overwhelmed by the strong interest and support that Shooting’s proposal for inclusion in 2026 has received from our sport’s international federations, national and state Shooting organisations, local clubs and the City of Greater Bendigo.”
The Director of Commonwealth Games for the City of Greater Bendigo, Andrew Cooney, met with Sachs during his visit on Thursday and said “(The) City of Greater Bendigo is excited to be a host city for the Victoria 2026 Commonwealth Games. Shooting has a proud tradition of involvement in the Games and a strong presence of participation across our region. We have a number of suitable facilities that regularly host high standard competitions and would be ideal for Games athletes, spectators and officials. We are aware of Shooting Australia’s Shoot for the Games 2026 campaign and would welcome the opportunity to host the sport.’
Shooting’s proposal aligns strongly with both the CGF’s and Victorian Government’s assessment criteria for a ‘Phase 2’ intake of additional sports and provides opportunities for each of Shooting’s traditional Commonwealth Games disciplines to be contested, albeit with reduced numbers of athletes and events compared with previous Games. Sachs continued, “We are aiming for equal medal opportunities for male and female athletes and in a Games first for any sport, we are proposing that in some disciplines, Para-Shooting athletes will shoot alongside their able-bodied teammates for the same medals in a fully-integrated Team event.”
Men, women, able-bodied and para-athletes can compete on the line at the same time
The International Shooting Sport Federation will submit its Expression of Interest to the CGF by 19 August. The CGF and Victorian Government are due to confirm which ‘Phase 2’ sports will be added to the competition program for the Victoria 2026 Commonwealth Games by October.