The NZOC is endorsing Kereyn Smith’s bid for the Presidency of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF). 

The former NZOC CEO is pledging to reimagine the Commonwealth Games to ensure they are sustainable, adaptable, and future focussed, if elected President.

Smith CNZM enters the candidacy for the role as a proven leader with more than twenty years’ experience in Commonwealth and Olympic sport. She has a track-record of inclusive leadership, good governance and a deep respect for athletes. 

Smith has served as Vice-President of the CGF for eight years and is emphasising the importance of embracing change and addressing the challenges that Commonwealth Sport currently faces, as she campaigns for the Presidency. 

“I have a real belief in the power of the Commonwealth Sport movement,” said Smith. 

“While proud of our past, Commonwealth Sport stands at a crossroads today and I believe we need to act together to embrace change and overcome these challenges.” 

Smith’s vision for the CGF presidency centres on three major commitments: 

1. Reimaging the Games of the Future: Smith intends to ensure the Commonwealth Games and events are sustainable, adaptable, and future-focused. This includes creating a pipeline of relevant and impactful Games, prioritising environmental sustainability, and hosting events across all regions of the Commonwealth. 

2. Modernising and Strengthening Commonwealth Sport: Smith will focus on digital transformation, commercial development, governance, and transparency within the Federation. She is committed to respecting the individual character of Commonwealth Games Associations (CGAs) and empowering them with visibility and a voice. 

3. Elevating and Empowering Athletes: Recognizing the pivotal role athletes play in Commonwealth Sport, Smith plans to prioritize their interests, participation, aspirations, and well-being. She aims to enhance the athletes’ voice and support CGAs in delivering meaningful opportunities for athletes and social development through sport. 

Smith says she’s also committed to celebrating the diversity of cultures within the Commonwealth, optimising collective potential, and setting high standards for integrity, inclusivity, and diversity. She aims to present the Games and events as a sustainable force for good within the global sports community. A copy of her campaign brochure is available here.

Smith’s immediate priority, if elected, will be to reassess the current state of Commonwealth Sport and build upon the Strategic Plan 2023 – 2034 Commonwealth United. 

NZOC President Liz Dawson says Kereyn would bring strength and modernity to the movement.  

“Kereyn is future-focused with clarity of vision and a deep passion for athletes and sport. She sees opportunities for Commonwealth Sport and the Games to create greater impact, connecting new audiences in exciting, innovative and sustainable ways,” said Dawson. 

“If elected, we have no doubt she’ll enhance Commonwealth Sport, accelerating pathways to inclusive sport and communities and ensuring athletes, and each of the diverse 74 Commonwealth Games Associations (CGA) are front and center of the movement.” 

In addition, NZOC Board Member Graham Child has begun campaigning to represent Oceania on the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) Sports Committee. 

A business leader, former hockey athlete, coach and sports administrator, Child is pledging to add value through shaping strategy, establishing efficiency and leading change. 

The elections take place on November 14-15 at the CGF General Assembly in Singapore. 

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