Sport Frampton never went to the Commonwealth Games, and still regrets it
Commonwealth Games 2022: Event kicks off in Birmingham
Prince Charles will appear in place of The Queen, 96, as she remains at Balmoral for the summer break over fears the long trip down to Birmingham would be too taxing for her mobility issues.Prince Charles and his wife Camilla will attend the official start of the games and represent Her Majesty, who is patron of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) and Head of the Commonwealth.
Northern Ireland have a strong representation in the semi-finals of the boxing tournament at the Commonwealth Games on Saturday.
Seven boxers on their team will be in action at the NEC in Birmingham, vying for a place in Sunday's finals but already guaranteed a medal.
Carl Frampton understands the pride that comes with winning a medal at these Games. He became a two-weight world champion and a star of the sport. But he never went to the Commonwealths and still regrets it.Rosie Eccles looks to step into the spotlight at Commonwealth GamesThe next Anthony Joshua? Delicious Orie shrugging off the pressure in BirminghamOleksandr Usyk vs Anthony Joshua II - how to book the fight
"It's just one of those things, you win the Ulster championships and that's your ticket for the Commonwealth Games, that's it," he told Sky Sports.
From Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce to Chad Le Clos: Here are the biggest international names to watch at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games
There'll be plenty of global superstars on show in Birmingham, including the four fastest women on the planet, iconic Paralympians, and a swimmer poised to become the greatest Commonwealth Games athlete of all time. Shooters Phillip Adams (Australia) and Michael Gault (England) jointly hold the record with 18 medals.The 30-year-old Le Clos missed the recent World Championships with bronchitis but will be hoping to earn his place in history by adding to his 17 medals, including seven gold, in Birmingham.
"I was Irish champion and I think probably number one in the Four Nations at the time. I'd just won the multi-nations the week before. If I didn't enter the Ulsters, I would have been sent I think, just because of being the Irish champion but I entered and lost.
"I remember going home and crying my eyes out because I wanted to represent Northern Ireland at the Commonwealth Games. It never happened.
"I'd have been extremely proud to represent Northern Ireland at a Commonwealth Games."
Boxing is an important sport in Northern Ireland. "It's massive. It wasn't that long ago that the Ulster championships used to be shown on TV in Northern Ireland," Frampton said. "It's a sport that people respect at home."
It's also a sport that transcends social and political divides there.
Rose-gold Aussies revel in bronze as wrestler Jayden Lawrence fights for his sport's survival in the Commonwealth Games
Lawrence fought on 'one and a half legs' to finish third at Birmingham, but his sport could be the thing on its last legs in Birmingham 2022.And at the Commonwealth Games, the rose gold glow is real.
"Boxing in Northern Ireland has always been a sport that brings people together," Frampton said.
"I don't really know why. Maybe it's to do with the respect and the respect that you have to have for someone who is brave enough to step through the ropes. It takes a lot of courage to do that.
"That's kind of my answer for it. That could be the right answer but I don't know."
Amateur boxing clubs play an often under-appreciated but hugely valuable role in their communities.
"My old coach Billy McKee used to always say the greatest achievements for him as a coach were not me winning championships or whatever, or anyone else winning titles, but it was about taking a guy who's having a bit of a rough time, maybe going down the wrong path, and getting him back on the straight and narrow, a kid going off to university who maybe wasn't expected to do it, and succeeding or getting a job," Frampton said.
Esports could be included in Victoria 2026 Commonwealth Games, after inaugural pilot event in Birmingham
As the multi-billion-dollar esports industry continues to grow, the Commonwealth Games looks to tap into some of that success.It is not as fanciful as it may sound. On the final weekend of the Games in Birmingham, the inaugural Commonwealth Esports Championships were held as a pilot to see whether it could be a part of the Games proper.
"They were the real success stories for him. Maybe people on the outside see that and they understand it. I think all sports as well at that level, it's all on a voluntary basis and these guys give up a lot of time to just try and help, help other people."
Frampton believes high-profile sportspeople, like himself, need to use that position. He was at the Commonwealth Games to support the Northern Ireland team but also to speak at the Beyond the Games conference. He was one of 250 sports leaders who attended. Surveyed as to whether the sports sector was doing enough to use its power and popularity in society to help break down social barriers and address inequalities in local communities, 70 per cent were either neutral or disagreed.
"The positive impact and influence sportspeople can have, people listen to them for whatever reason," Frampton said. "Because you've a platform, you should use it positively.
"In Birmingham [these boxers] will be able to bring their own positive message out as Commonwealth medallists."
Northern Ireland has quality boxers like Amy Broadhurst, Michaela Walsh, Jude Gallagher and more in semi-final action. Frampton is tipping Dylan Eagleson as one to watch.
Chalmers' dad rips 'failed' Swimming Australia
Kyle Chalmers' dad has launched a nuclear attack at Swimming Australia, accusing it of failing his son in his time of need.Chalmers took out the 100m freestyle on Tuesday, his third gold medal at these Commonwealth Games, before bringing his index finger to his lips to 'shush' the pundits who he believes have persecuted him since the Australian trials in May.
"[He] just won a silver medal at the European championships, he's only 19. You know how difficult it is to win a medal at a Europeans," Frampton said. "All those Eastern bloc countries, they can all fight, they've all got very good fighters. Some people even say that [securing a medal] at the Europeans is as tough as an Olympics, because there's no real easy fights.
"There's a lot of media attention on the Commonwealth Games, people will get to see him and know a little bit more about him. Which should be the case because he's a nice kid and a very, very good fighter. It's more exposure for them, more than the medals. The medals are important but the exposure's very important too."
England, Wales and Scotland also have quality boxers in the semi-finals.
Reigning Commonwealth silver medallist Rosie Eccles takes on Eireaan Nugent from Northern Ireland. England's Lewis Richardson boxes Sam Hickey of Scotland at top level middleweight bout.
Welsh light-heavy Taylor Bevan and Aaron Bowen of England have both made great strides in this tournament. They collide at 80kgs and exciting super-heavyweight, Birmingham's own Delicious Orie bids for a place in the final against New Zealand's Leuila Mau'u at the end of a long session of boxing.
The biggest fight in the history of women's boxing - Claressa Shields vs Savannah Marshall - is live on Sky Sports on Saturday, September 10. Be part of history and buy tickets for the London showdown here.
Race walker Jemima Montag embodying 'Australian values' as a role model to inspire next generation of athletes .
Australian race walker and reigning Commonwealth Games champion, Jemima Montag says she's embracing the pressure of defending her crown at the Birmingham Games, but most of all wants to inspire the next generation of athletes. A medicine student who loves to cook and spend time with family, the 24-year-old also talks of superstitions; like the lucky number three, her lucky pyjamas, and a lucky golden bracelet she wears from her late grandmother.