Could new sports increase Commonwealth Games success for the Channel Islands?

Will more sports = more success for Jersey and Guernsey? Credit: ITV Channel Television

The 2026 Commonwealth Games will see coastal rowing, golf and BMX cycling introduced as sports at the games for the first time.

Shooting will also return after being left out for this year's competition in Birmingham.

It's good news for those sports throughout our islands who are hoping they can now take teams to Australia in four years' time.

"It's hugely exciting," said Angela Stuart, a member of Guernsey's Commonwealth Games Association:

"I've been approached by different sports to ask why aren't certain sports in the games so it's very exciting for us and the sports if they're able to qualify and represent Guernsey."

Both islands are hoping to take teams in coastal rowing where they'll compete in beach sprints. A particular discipline which sees the rower get out of the boat and sprint to the finish line.

Jersey in particular has been successful at this event with their rower Des Nevitt currently competing for Great Britain.

"I think we could be very competitive. We've got the best beaches and it's the same for Guernsey as well. We're both in a position where we could do very well because we have some of the best resources in the world."

Whilst Jersey might fancy their medal chances there they'll also point to shooting and BMX Cycling as an opportunity to end their more than 30-year medal drought.

Shooter Cameron Pirouet finished fourth at the 2018 games whilst Alex Coleborn is one of Britain's best BMX riders.

Golf's inclusion is a little more unclear as it could be a strictly professional event. If not, both Guernsey and Jersey will jump at the chance to test themselves on the world stage.

Teenager Ollie Chedhomme is one of Guernsey's best golfers:

"To go would be amazing. It's certainly one of the dreams now that golf has been added to The Commonwealth Games. It's something I'd love to be able to do."

With medal success for Lucy Beere and Alastair Chalmers at this year's games, 2022 was one of our best. With the inclusion of new sports, could we do even better in four years' time?