A RECORD-BREAKING Glasgow 2014 is over for our Welsh heroes but the Commonwealth Games could be on the way to Wales in 2026 – with Newport set to play a big part.
Sport Wales chief executive Sarah Powell, who has watched her athletes win a record haul of 36 medals in Scotland, says the country is considering a bid to host the Games in 12 years.
And she confirmed to the Argus that Newport, with the Wales National Velodrome and a new convention centre planned at Celtic Manor, is likely to figure in the bid.
“We do have the aspiration to host the Commonwealth Games,” said Powell.
“We're a great sporting nation, so why not? I think Glasgow is a really good example to us.
“Scotland is a small nation, but they've put everything behind it.
“The venues are a good size, there will be no white elephants afterwards and it has provided them an opportunity to show themselves on the world stage.
“This represents a real opportunity for us in Wales to look and learn from these Games and consider if we can do one.”
Cardiff staged the British Empire and Commonwealth Games in 1958, when it was a smaller-scale event.
The Welsh Government has yet to commit to a bid for the 2026 Games, which is the next edition it could look to stage, but Commonwealth Games Federation chief executive Mike Hooper confirmed talks are active.
“I'm more than happy to openly acknowledge we've had discussions (with Wales),” said Hooper.
“They've been very open about that for quite some time, both with the Commonwealth Games Association and indeed the minister of sport in Wales John Griffiths.”
And it seems there is a real possibility of Cardiff, Swansea and Newport teaming up to stage the Games.
“I wouldn't rule out hosting a multi-city Games; it's not a new concept," Hooper said.
“The distance would be far less in Wales compared to the set-up at Gold Coast in 2018 so it's a possibility.”
Powell told the Argus in Glasgow: “I don’t see why a multi-city bid couldn’t work.
“It will be a lot to do with economics and politics but we’ll leave that part of it to the Welsh Government.
“Newport has a lot of good facilities already and some exceptional athletes coming through so there are a lot of things that are positive about Newport.”
The Argus understands that the Celtic Manor could potentially host boxing, netball, wrestling, judo and gymnastics in a new exhibition centre scheduled to open in 2018.
And there is even the possibility of a new athletics stadium being built in the Newport area for the bid.
Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium could be adapted like Glasgow’s Hampden Park to fit in a 400m running track but a 300m warm-up track would also need to be constructed nearby.