Yual Reath has said "it would be a dream come true" to compete in front of a home crowd at Victoria 2026 ©Getty Images

Young athletes from Ballarat Yual Reath and Lachlan O'Keefe have set their sights on competing in their city at the Victoria 2026 Commonwealth Games.

Ballarat is one of the five sub-sites of the Games and is set to stage events in athletics and Para athletics at Eureka Stadium, boxing at Ballarat Sports and Events Centre, mountain biking at Creswick Trails, and the marathon.

Both Reath and O'Keefe are high jumpers with the former winning the national title this year before claiming a silver medal at the Oceania Athletics Championships.

"It would be a dream come true jumping in front of a home crowd and having family and friends come and watch," the 22-year-old Reath said. 

Last year, he cleared a 2.25-metre mark which stands as his personal best.

O'Keefe is 17 and currently holds a personal best of 2.15m and finished eighth in the high jump final of the Under-20 World Athletics Championships in Colombia earlier this year.

Ballarat Stadium is set to undergo an AUD150 million upgrade for the Victoria 2026 Commonewealth Games ©Getty Images
Ballarat Stadium is set to undergo an AUD150 million upgrade for the Victoria 2026 Commonewealth Games ©Getty Images

As a result of the Games, Ballarat is receiving substantial infrastructural investments.

The Eureka Stadium is set to undergo a AUD150 million (£83 million/$101 million/€96 million) revamp with a total of 5,000 permanent and 18,000 temporary seats to be installed, boosting the capacity from 6,000 to almost 30,000.

It has also been confirmed that AUD50 million (£28 million/$31 million/€32 million) will be invested by the Victorian Government into the redevelopment of Ballarat Train Station.

"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," said Ballarat Mayor Des Hudson.

Ballarat Saleyards has been chosen as the location for the city’s Athletes' Village which is set to accommodate about 1,800 athletes and officials.

"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," continued Hudson.