(left to right) Australian high jumpers Yual Reath and Lachlan O’Keefe

Preparation is underway in Ballarat as the region readies itself to host the biggest sporting event in its history, the 2026 Commonwealth Games – held on the 17-29 March 2026 – with more than $200 million in critical infrastructure and a major boost for the visitor economy anticipated.

As one of five regional Victorian games hubs, Ballarat will host some of the world’s best athletes to compete in:  

  • Athletics and Para Athletics at Eureka Stadium 
  • Boxing at Ballarat Sports and Events Centre   
  • Marathon in Ballarat at a course to be determined  
  • Mountain Bike Racing at Creswick Trails  

Young Ballarat athletes Yual Reath and Lachlan O’Keefe aim to compete in the men’s high jump at the Victoria 2026 Commonwealth Games, with both emerging from Ballarat’s strong athletics community to be serious contenders at national and international level. 

“It would be a dream come true jumping in front of a home crowd and having family and friends come and watch,” Mr Reath said.  

Investment in key infrastructure for the Victoria 2026 Commonwealth Games includes capacity-building at Eureka Stadium plus a new athletics facility at the Ballarat Showgrounds. 

It will also involve an upgrade to Ballarat train station and the construction of an 1,800 bed athlete village at the former Ballarat saleyards site.  

City of Ballarat Mayor, Des Hudson, said the City has negotiated and advocated to help ensure the Games will deliver the right legacy for Ballarat.  

“Investment in Eureka Stadium will add to its appeal as a sports and events venue long term, and the Ballarat train station upgrade means after many years of advocacy, residents with limited mobility will be able to more easily use our main train station,” Mayor Hudson said.

“Construction of the athlete village can be a catalyst for renewal of the saleyards precinct, with a portion of the housing available for use after the Games as social and affordable housing according to community needs.”  

City of Ballarat Chief Executive Officer, Evan King, said the City’s  advocacy for a long-term legacy from the Victoria 2026 Commonwealth Games is in line with goal six of the City of Ballarat Council Plan 2021- 2025: A city that provides leadership and advocates for its community. 

“Our goal is a long-term legacy across our housing, sporting and transport infrastructure, as well as a strong cultural legacy, increased social inclusivity and a boost for our visitor economy.” 

Featured image: (left to right) Australian high jumpers Yual Reath and Lachlan O’Keefe. Image: City of Ballarat. 

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