The Commonwealth Games in Birmingham are just around the corner – and it is bringing a lot of new and exciting things with it! All eyes will be on the up-and-coming city as countries flock their athletes to England for the first time since 2002. But not only does the city get to show off how it has changed and developed, so do the games! This year will mark the first year where female athletes will be leading in medals, changing the games as we know it.

wommon commonwealth Roger Kidd / Birmingham Commonwealth Games countdown timer in Centenary Square

Welcome Addition

Back in 2020, the CDF announced that for once, women will be able to win more medals in the Birmingham Commonwealth games than men. This change is thanks to the inclusion of the new woman’s cricket tournament which previously did not exist. It is also the first-time cricket has been included since 1998. The last game we saw was when South Africa won the men’s competition in Kuala Lumpur. The new teams will be be competing in the 11-day extravaganza extravagance of sports at Birmingham’s Edgbaston Cricket Ground.

However cricket is not the only new addition! Extra games including beachball and para table tennis have been added to the list. Showing that the commonwealth games are certainly championing female athletes this year.

Changing The Course Of History

This change isn’t something that has happened suddenly or immediately. Traditionally women weren’t even allowed to participate in the sports until the 1930s. Since then, the games have slowly but surely started to level the playing field over the years. In Australia 2018, the games made history when women were able to secure the same number of medals as men.

And with this year in Birmingham, there seems to be a focus on ensuring that our female athletes are finally getting a fair crack at adding to the medals table. They truly deserve nothing less, they train and work just as hard as their male equivalents!

Jimmy Harris, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Women’s Sport In The Spotlight

What is even more amazing, is that this monumental shift is not just a first for the Commonwealth Games but also for all multi-country games around the world. This is especially important when thinking about how even though sport is becoming more equal, the public attention on women’s sport is not.

Many female athletes have come out and said how significant these medals are and the impact they will have on future competitions and their careers. Unlike male sports which invites a lot of investment, women’s sports are usually put on the back burner and offered very little support to keep functioning. Having the highlight on female athletes this year will help bring attention back to how amazing they are. And hopefully this will encourage more and more companies to sponsor female athletes helping them further their careers even more. After all, they are just as important as their male counter parts.

When you think of how many little girls may tune in to watch the games, the importance of this display of equality really hits home. It will undoubtedly make an impact on their young minds to see that girls can do everything boys can and that they have every chance to be equally rewarded for their efforts.


Women To Watch

The next few weeks we will be seeing some amazing female athletes! Not just from the UK but from all around the world. However, here are few home grown faces you might want to keep an eye on throughout this years games.


Anna Hursey

Hursey will be one of the youngest athletes competing in Birmingham. The now 15 year old Welsh table tennis player started her career off with a bang at the 2018 Commonwealth Games at just 11 years old . Not only is she an outstanding athlete, but she is also a huge champion and advocate for climate change. A real inspiration for younger generations.

Embed from Getty Images

Laura Muir

Muir managed to set new a British record time of 3:45:50 during her 1500m race at the Tokyo Olympics. Bagging herself a silver medal in the process. A Scottish middle- and long-distance runner and a vet! Now ready to come and face the commonwealth games after having to pull out the 2018 Gold Coast ones due to a clash with her veterinary exams!

filip bossuyt from Kortrijk, Belgium, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
Dina Asher-Smith

Dina is an English Sprinter who is looking to make her mark on the Commonwealth Games. During the Tokyo Olympics, Asher-Smith had probably one of athletes worst fears come true. She was injured just before her race and was unable to compete to achieve her Olympic dream. However this set back has meant she is looking to prove her worth this summer. Her sprints will definitely be ones to watch!

Image credit: Erik van Leeuwen, GFDL , via Wikimedia Commons

For more amazing sports women from both past and present check out our post here.


The Future Sporting Generation

With Birmingham’s clear focus on advocating its athletes and helping to make the games accessible for the wider community. It is sure to be a great summer for both the city and for sport. As more and more opportunities come up for female athletes to take the spotlight, it brings hope for future generations. What they will be able to achieve without gender bias getting in the way is limitless. And even though its one small change, the impact on the sporting community will be immense.