Where to watch the Commonwealth Games 2018 on TVby Fiona Rae
Get your TV remote ready for extensive coverage of the Commonwealth Games, coming to you from the GC.
Perhaps it’s not surprising, as New Zealand has a larger presence at the Commonwealths than at the Olympics. We’re dedicated attendees, having been represented at every games since they began in 1930 – and these ones are a short plane ride across the Tasman.
This year, we’re sending a team of about 240 athletes, including basketball, hockey, netball, sevens and lawn bowls players. We have a surprisingly large number of cyclists – 33 – who will compete in road, track and mountain biking events. We also have 12 weightlifters, 13 shooters, eight boxers and four beach volleyball players.
Veterans such as shot-putters Valerie Adams and Tom Walsh, cyclist Sam Webster, shooter John Snowden and triathlete Andrea Hewitt lead a young team that includes pole vaulter Eliza McCartney, diver Liam Stone and 15-year-old gymnasts Stella Ashcroft and Stella Ebert. Unfortunately, triple games 1500m medallist Nick Willis has been ruled out because of injury.
For obsessed fans, TVNZ Duke is the place to go. It will have extensive live and delayed coverage, beginning with the opening ceremony on Wednesday at 9.30pm.
In keeping with TVNZ Duke’s youth credentials, members of the Alternative Commentary Collective are branching out from cricket: Jeremy Wells, Matt Heath and Mike Lane will present the opening ceremony, and Heath and Lane will also present highlights on weeknights at 8.30pm on The Moment.
On the grown-ups’ channel, Peter Williams and Jenny May Clarkson present the opening ceremony. They’re part of a large transtasman team covering the games that includes Hayley Holt, Sam Wallace, Kimberlee Downs and Tamati Rimene-Sproat. Expert commentators include Olympic bronze medal-winning swimmer Anthony Mosse, middle-distance runner Nikki Hamblin, and basketball and hockey commentator Duane Dell’Oca.
A heartening development is that these games will host the largest integrated para-sport programme yet; about 300 para athletes will compete in seven sports and there will be an equal number of men’s and women’s events. New Zealand is sending 13 para athletes: a lawn bowls team; Paralympic silver medal-winning javelin thrower Holly Robinson; and five swimmers, including our most successful Paralympian, Sophie Pascoe.
This article was first published in the March 31, 2018 issue of the New Zealand Listener.
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