Wales' Chris Jenkins, left, and New Zealand's Kereyn Smith, right, are the candidates to succeed Dame Louise Martin as CGF President ©CGF

Vice-presidents Chris Jenkins of Wales and Kereyn Smith of New Zealand are the two candidates to succeed Dame Louise Martin as Commonwealth Games Federation President at this year's crucial General Assembly in Singapore, it was announced today. 

The contest for the leadership is set to decide the future of a multi-sport event which has been part of the sporting landscape since the inaugural British Empire Games in Hamilton in 1930, but has been left without a clear solution to Victoria in Australia withdrawing from staging the 2026 edition, although an update has been promised at the General Assembly and officials insist a replacement can be found.

Scottish official Dame Louise is reaching the end of her maximum two four-year terms, having first been elected in Auckland in New Zealand in 2015.

The two candidates to succeed her are two of three vice-presidents in Jenkins and Smith.

The other vice-president Bruce Robertson of Canada had been considered a possible contender, but is not running for either re-election as vice-president or the Presidency.

August 15 was the deadline for nominations, with candidates announced following a review by the CGF's independent Elections Panel.

Jenkins stood down as Commonwealth Games Wales chief executive last year after 12 years in the role.

He chairs the CGF Development Committee and sits on the Performance and Remuneration Committee with Dame Louise.

The Performance and Remuneration Committee is chaired by Smith, who also stepped down from her role as New Zealand Olympic Committee chief executive last year after 11 years.

She also chairs the CGF Sports Committee and is a member of the Governance and Integrity Committee.

The winner of the election is set to become the CGF's ninth President.

Two previous leaders have been from New Zealand in Arthur Porritt and Sir Alex Ross covering a period form 1950 to 1982.

Indian Olympic Association President PT Usha is one of seven candidates standing for CGF vice-president ©Getty Images
Indian Olympic Association President PT Usha is one of seven candidates standing for CGF vice-president ©Getty Images

There has never been a Welsh President, although two have been from Scotland and one from England on the British Isles.

Several notable names are among the seven candidates for the three vice-presidential roles.

PT Usha, elected as President of the embattled Indian Olympic Association last year, South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee President Barry Hendricks and Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Organising Committee chief executive Ian Reid of Scotland are all standings.

They are joined by current regional vice-president for Oceania Hugh Graham of the Cook Islands, Barbados Olympic Association President Sandra Osborne, former Commonwealth Sport Canada President Richard Powers and Uganda Olympic Committee President Donald Rukare.

Osborne is currently on the Executive Board as a legal adviser.

Four of the regional vice-presidential roles are set to be decided unopposed.

Botswana's Botsang Tshenyego for Africa, Bermuda's Judy Simons for the Americas, the British Virgin Islands' Ephraim Penn for the Caribbean and Australia's Craig Philips for Oceania are the only candidates.

The Asian regional vice-presidency is set to be contested by Singaporean incumbent Christopher Chan, President of the Global Esports Federation with whom the CGF staged the inaugural Commonwealth Esports Forum and Championships alongside Birmingham 2022, National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka secretary general Maxwell DeSilva and India's Usha.

Gibraltar's incumbent Harry Murphy is standing for re-election to the European position, but faces challenges from England's Louise Mackie and Commonwealth Games Wales President Helen Philips.

Dame Louise hailed the calibre of candidates standing for office.

CGF President Dame Louise Martin has reached the end of her limit of two four-year terms ©Getty Images
CGF President Dame Louise Martin has reached the end of her limit of two four-year terms ©Getty Images

"I’m delighted to see so many high calibre candidates wanting to play such a key role in the Commonwealth Games movement," she said.

"Their willingness to serve reflects the huge enthusiasm and support for the Games that we have seen from around the world, particularly in the last few weeks. 

"I am excited and confident about what the Commonwealth Games will be able to achieve in the future."

The General Assembly in Singapore is scheduled for November 14 and 15.

Elections for regional vice-presidents are due to be held on the first day, followed by the votes for vice-presidents and President on day two.

The Executive Board also features an athlete representative, currently Athletes Advisory Commission chair Brendan Williams of Dominica, Audit and Risk Committee chair Mary Hardy of England and medical adviser Peter Harcourt of Australia.

Sports Committee elections are also scheduled for the first day of the General Assembly.

The Falkland Islands' Andrew Brownlee from the Americas, India's Harpal Singh from Asia, Antigua and Barbuda's Cliff Williams from the Caribbean and England's Francesca Carter-Kelly are the only candidates from their respective regions.

Penalva Cézar of Mozambique and Malawi's Jappie Mhango are candidates for the position from Africa, and Vanuatu's Antoine Boudier, New Zealand's Graham Child and Australia's Grant Harrison from Oceania.

In addition to Victoria's withdrawal, Alberta in Canada has opted against staging a bid for the 2030 Commonwealth Games in recent weeks.

CGF chief executive Katie Sadleir has vowed to provide a "much more concrete plan" on how it plans to deal with the situation at the General Assembly.