Melbourne Vixens Assistant Coach, Sharelle McMahon, joins fellow Commonwealth Games gold medalist, Kurt Fearnley, in being appointed to leadership positions on the Australian Commonwealth Games team for the 2022 edition in Birmingham.
McMahon and Fearnley will join Chef de Mission, Petria Thomas, and Commonwealth Games Australia’s team performance general manager, Tim Mahon, on the Australian Team Executive for the Games.
Team Chef de Mission, Petria Thomas, said McMahon and Fearnley both have a passion for the Games and the leadership qualities to be excellent ambassadors for the Australian team, saying their experiences as Games athletes will be invaluable.
“They are already great ambassadors for Australian sport and the team in Birmingham will certainly benefit from their leadership,” Thomas said.
“Sharelle and Kurt both bring an enormous amount of experience and insight and they are both great Australian champions that our team will greatly benefit from. The respect they command within the Australian sporting community is immense and as a collective our team executive can help establish the standards and expectations for the way the team conducts itself.”
Commonwealth Games Australia is planning to send one of its largest teams to compete in an away campaign with an expected team size of 425 athletes across 19 sports, including the recently introduced women’s T20 cricket.
The largest team for an away Commonwealth Games is 409 athletes in Glasgow in 2014.
Australia was represented by 473 athletes on the Gold Coast with the team topping the medal tally with 80 gold, 59 silver and 59 bronze medals.
Dual gold medalist, Sharelle McMahon, competed in four Games and was the youngest member of the netball team which won gold at the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur. Four years later she helped the team defend that title in Manchester while also winning silver medals at the following Games in Melbourne and Delhi.
A former national team captain, McMahon was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 2016.
“For me, during my career, it was a tournament that I always loved, so it will be exciting to be back,” McMahon said.
“Helping the entire team to have a great experience, both in terms of performance, but I always loved the feel of the Commonwealth Games so I’m really excited about being part of creating something special for everyone who’s involved.”
Thomas said the group will continue to seek input from Commonwealth Games Australia’s Athlete Advisory and Performance and Healthcare advisory groups as planning for the Games continues.
A planned visit to Birmingham to mark two years to go this July (27th) is very unlikely to proceed so Thomas looks forward to visiting the Games city when life returns to normal.
“Whenever that is, who knows, however, what we do know is that sport is part of the fabric of Australian life… when it comes to the Commonwealth Games, along with the Paralympics and Olympics, everyone is cheering for the same team – Australia,” Thomas said.
“We look forward to being able to cheer and celebrate our athletes when international competition begins again.”
Birmingham 2022 is set for the largest-ever female and para-sport programme in history with women’s T20 cricket, beach volleyball and Para-table tennis joining the existing sports including aquatics (swimming, Para-swimming and diving), athletics and Para-athletics, badminton, basketball 3×3 and wheelchair basketball 3×3, boxing, cycling (mountain, road, track and Para-track), gymnastics (artistic and rhythmic), hockey, judo, lawn bowls and Para-bowls, netball, rugby sevens, squash, table tennis, triathlon and Para-triathlon, weightlifting and Para-powerlifting and wrestling.
The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games will take place from 27 July to 7 August.
Words from Commonwealth Games Australia