2 Sep 2015

First woman president for Commonwealth Games Federation

3:33 pm on 2 September 2015

The British sports administrator Louise Martin has been elected as the Commonwealth Games Federation's first female President after promising to boost the commercial returns and attract top-class athletes back to the Commonwealth Games.

Martin beat the incumbent Prince Tunku Imran of Malaysia at the Commonwealth Games Federation general assembly in Auckland to head an organisation that has faced pressure to remain relevant in a crowded sporting market.

The Games have been scrutinised in recent years with cost over-runs and budget blowouts, which have put cities off from bidding for the four-early event.

Only two cities bid for the 2018 Games, which were awarded to Australia's Gold Coast ahead of Sri Lanka's Hambantota, while Durban will be rubber-stamped later on Wednesday as the only bidder for the 2022 Games.

Many top-class athletes have also skipped the Games, with track and field in particular shorn of several headline names who choose to run in lucrative meetings in Europe that clash with the multi-sport event in the calendar.

Martin, who was the vice-chairperson of the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, had pledged to boost the commercial opportunities for the Federation and its members and to ensure the Games attracted elite athletes once more.

The chief executive of the New Zealand Olympic Committee Kereyn Smith has been elected Vice President to the Commonwealth Games Federation Board.

NZOC chief executive Kereyn Smith.

NZOC chief executive Kereyn Smith. Photo: Photosport

"I have a track record in organisational growth and development and will bring leadership and advocacy skills to support change within the movement."

New Zealand Olympic Committee President Mike Stanley said he is delighted with Smith's appointment.

"Kereyn has successfully driven a new approach to ethics and integrity at the New Zealand Olympic Committee and has been recognized for her contribution to governance in sport, youth and education," he said.

She is also a member of the International Olympic Committee Sport and Activity Commission, championing sport participation for all. I know she will make a positive impact within the Commonwealth Games Movement at this critical and transformative time.