An athlete ambassador programme has been launched by CGE ©CGE

Commonwealth Games England (CGE) have announced plans to create the best performance environment for their team at Gold Coast 2018 here today, while 25 athlete ambassadors were also revealed.

A preparation camp is central to the CGE’s planning for the Games, with the organisation aiming to replicate the pre-Rio 2016 set-up used by the British Olympic Association in Belo Horizonte, which was deemed key to Olympic success this year.

It is hoped the camp, which will be located in Brisbane, will provide athletes with ample opportunity to acclimatise and train ahead of the event.

Each sport will be able to take advantage of the camp in the 10 days leading up to the Games, with specially selected high-performance sports facilities and a full team of medical, physio and support staff set to be on hand to aid preparations.

A Team England performance centre will also be established in their headquarters in the Commonwealth Games Village, with the aim of repeating the success of a similar facility at Glasgow 2014.

This will include providing dedicated doctors, physiotherapists and a full range of clinical, rehabilitation, preparation services, kit, equipment, stretching and rest and recuperation areas.

CGE have also confirmed they have established a team leader programme involving representatives from each sport, which is being led by Chef de Mission Sarah Winckless.

The plans come a month after Sport England awarded CGE £4 million ($5 million/€4.5 million) of National Lottery funding towards their preparations for the Games.

"Commonwealth Games England is fully focused on creating the best possible performance environment for Team England athletes, coaches and support staff," said Paul Blanchard, CGE chief executive.

"The facilities that we are creating for our athletes will give Team England the best chance of delivering more success for the nation at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

"We are working closely with sports and athletes to deliver exactly what they need.

"We believe that they will be the best prepared team to ever represent England at a Commonwealth Games."

Denise Lewis has launched the athlete ambassador programme ©Getty Images
Denise Lewis has launched the athlete ambassador programme ©Getty Images

An athlete ambassador programme was also launched, an initiative being led by CGE President former Olympic, European and Commonwealth champion, Denise Lewis.

The programme will see the ambassador, who are a mix of rising and established stars, seek to raise the profile and develop a strong Team England ethos amongst fellow athletes, the organisation and the nation.

They will also work with CGE to help develop their plans for Gold Coast 2018 over the forthcoming months.

Athletics’ Niamh Emerson, badminton player Lauren Smith, boxing’s Frazer Clarke, beach volleyball pairing Chris Gregory and Jake Sheaf, and under-23 cyclo-cross world champion Evie Richards are among those announced.

They are joined by diver Freddie Woodward, gymnasts Kristian Thomas and Mimi Cesar, hockey’s David Ames, George Pinner and Sam Ward, Ellen Falkner and Paul Brown of lawn bowls, and netball’s Joanne Harten.

The list of ambassadors is completed by rugby sevens duo Phil Burgess and Tom Mitchell, squash stars Laura Massaro and Nick Matthew, swimmers Aimee Willmott and Ollie Hynd, Paralympic table tennis champion Will Bayley, wrestling’s George Ramm and weightlifting’s Zoe Smith and Ali Jawad.

Further ambassadors are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

"The Commonwealth Games is the pinnacle of many athletes’ careers," said Lewis.

"We will support Team England athletes to give them the best possible chance of success in 2018.

"One of the biggest challenges athletes can face is performing in a multi-sport environment, and we will work with this outstanding group of Team England athlete ambassadors to ensure that Team England is the best prepared it has ever been for the challenge of a major overseas Games."