Colors: Yellow Color

Organisers of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games have announced that more locations across the West Midlands and the country could be set to benefit from this major multi-sport event being staged in England, as the search for local areas and facilities to host pre-games training camps officially begins.
 
Some of the 71 nations and territories taking part in the Games are looking to set up camps to ensure they have a base from which to prepare, train and acclimatise ahead of the event – the biggest ever to be staged in the West Midlands region.
 
Hosting teams in this way can often provide an economic boost but the areas involved can also benefit in other ways including; gaining additional profile for the venues and facilities hosting the camps, building or strengthening relationships with Commonwealth nations and providing opportunities to inspire young people from local clubs or the community, who may have a chance to watch training sessions or take part in events.
 
John Crabtree, Chair of Birmingham 2022, said: “We have frequently said that the whole region and even the whole country will benefit from Birmingham 2022 and pre-Games training camps are a really great example of how that’s possible.
 
“We are expecting 6,500 athletes and officials to come to Birmingham and the region to compete in the Games and many of those teams, especially from the larger Commonwealth nations, will be looking to arrive early, acclimatise and fine tune their preparations, before moving into the official Games time accommodation.”
 
The process to match suitable hosts with competing nations and territories from across the Commonwealth is being overseen by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Its team is working in conjunction with UK Sport and Sport England, helping to match up local authorities and suitable venues with those Commonwealth Games Associations looking to organise camps for their teams.
 
Nigel Huddleston, Minister for Sport, Tourism and Heritage, said: "This is a great opportunity for communities right across the country to play their part in Birmingham 2022. From fostering relationships with other Commonwealth nations to building the profile of local venues and facilities, there are significant benefits from hosting pre-Games training camps. I would encourage anywhere with the right facilities to express their interest."
 
Birmingham itself has successfully staged pre-games training camps in the past, with USA Track and Field and the Jamaican Athletics Association previously choosing the Alexander Stadium and the University of Birmingham respectively, as locations for their training camps, prior to both the London 2012 Olympic Games and the London 2017 World Athletics Championships.
 

In the ‘run-up’ to what should have been the Great Birmingham Half Marathon, Birmingham-based charity LoveBrum is asking runners to take on the challenge and complete their own race in support of good causes in the city.
 
LoveBrum will send out bespoke medals to individual participants who complete their half marathon – and for teams, additional medals can be purchased separately. Just send evidence of your run to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., by sending a screenshot using a running tracking app. There will also be prizes for #OneBrum ‘Fundraising Heroes’; the runners who raise the most for the appeal. 
 
Paul Mitchell, executive director at LoveBrum, said: “We were overwhelmed by the support we received from the running community when we invited people to run 10k for Brum back in May. We know how disappointed many runners are by the cancellation of events this year; many will have put in a lot of training and miles, and we don’t want it to go to waste. 
 
“As well as hitting their own goals, they’ll be giving a massive boost to the amazing support our nominated charities are giving those most in need during the pandemic.”

Updates, videos and images can be shared on social media by using #OneBrumHalf. 
 
The OneBrum campaign is raising vital funds, which are being distributed to local charities and community projects across Birmingham. Donations have helped to deliver care packages to those most vulnerable still sleeping on the streets; provide advice, support and food parcels to those most affected by the pandemic; and support children, young people and families who have been affected by loss, bereavement, divorce or separation
 
OneBrum has a simple premise; everyone in Birmingham is being asked to do just two things; donate £1 to support the work happening right now in Birmingham to support local communities, and do one thing locally to help - whether that’s phoning someone in isolation or completing a shopping drop to a vulnerable person.  

LoveBrum is encouraging both individuals and teams to pull on their running shoes, sign up at https://lovebrum.org.uk/event/onebrum-half-marathon/, and run their own race on Sunday 11th October (the planned event date), for a donation of £20 to its #OneBrum appeal.
 
To get involved with #OneBrum, go to www.lovebrum.org.uk or follow LoveBrum on social: @lovebrum

Participants can also donate £1 via JustGiving at www.justgiving.com/campaign/onebrum, or text ONEBRUM to 70085 to donate £1.
 
 

 

Record number of GB & NI Paralympic and World Medallists set for Müller British Athletics Championships

The Müller British Athletics Championships will hold four para events for the first time at the Manchester Regional Arena on the 4 and 5 September 2020, welcoming a record number of para athlete entries across the field.

With competition opportunities restricted due to the Covid-19 pandemic this summer, two wheelchair and two ambulant track events have been added to the programme at the Championships with six world medallists from the 2019 World Para Athletics Championships among those confirmed so far.

In the women’s ambulant 100m, sprinting royalty Sophie Hahn and Maria Lyle will line up. Both won double gold at the WPA Championships last November; Hahn setting world records in both the T38 100m and 200m, while Lyle bagged her first world titles in the T35 races for the same distances. They will be joined by European T38 400m silver medallist Ali Smith, as well as previous WPA Junior medallists, Simran Kaur (T47) and Kirsty Taylor (T44).

In the men’s ambulant 100m, Thomas Young will line up looking to show the form which saw him win world silver in the T38 100m in Dubai last year. He’ll be joined by Bolton-based Ola Abidogun who was in the form of his life in 2019 as he returned to the world stage finishing sixth in the T47 100m final, running a PB of 10.92 on his way there.

12-time world champion Hannah Cockroft will race in the 400m wheelchair race where she will join 2017 double T53 world champion Sammi Kinghorn over the one-lap distance. Joining the pair will be three-time 2019 WPA Junior T54 silver medallist Eden Rainbow-Cooper who will be among those opening her season in the north-west.

In the men’s wheelchair equivalent, T54 400m world bronze medallist Richard Chiassaro will take on European universal relay gold medallist Nathan Maguire over the one-lap contest. Ben Rowlings – a multiple European medallist in the T34 category – joins the field as does T54 400m European bronze medallist Dillon Labrooy. This adds to the names which included F20 shot put world champion Sabrina Fortune as well as Paralympic long jump silver medallist, Stef Reid.

Major Events Director at British Athletics, Cherry Alexander, said: “We are delighted to welcome a record number of para athletes to the field for the Müller British Athletics Championships. We are pleased to create further competition opportunities for all our world-class athletes by adding these four para events to our programme. We already have a host of Paralympic and world champions confirmed for the Championships in the field, so we are delighted to announce this quality line-up on the track too.”

With the championships being broadcast live on Friday night on BBC2, extended to 1800-2100 and Saturday, afternoon on BBC1, 1315-1630, Britain’s best athletes will be lining up to provide athletics fans with their fix of the country’s favourite Olympic and Paralympic sport.

The format and shape of the competition and guidelines that will be adhered to for competitors and those helping to stage the Championships will be subject to the government guidelines in place and will be communicated in due course.

Indoor gyms, swimming pools and other indoor sports facilities have seen a cautious return of customers as they reopen their doors for the first time since March. However, it's thought at least a third of public facilities have stayed shut.

The leisure sector has warned it will still struggle because of the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Gyms that reopen must follow strict hygiene and social distancing measures, such as limiting the number of people using the facility and spacing out equipment.

Facilities should also reduce class sizes and ensure adequate ventilation, according to government guidance issued earlier this month. Outdoor gyms and pools have been open in England since 4 July because there is less risk of catching coronavirus outdoors.

Indoor gyms in Northern Ireland opened earlier this month, but they remain closed in Scotland and Wales. Swim England has published its own guidance for operators on how to reopen indoor pools, including implementing a one-way entry and exit system.

Its chief executive Jane Nickerson said financial problems meant less than 20% of pools will reopen this weekend. The cost of heating the pools and implementing the new guidelines, as well as the reduced footfall and fewer swimming lessons, mean many cannot afford to open, she said.

She also called on the government to give more financial support to struggling pools, saying the money would also help with its plan to tackle obesity. Meanwhile, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has confirmed gyms and sports facilities will not reopen in Luton or Blackburn with Darwen due to an increase in coronavirus cases in those areas.

Despite the relaxed rules, industries bodies have warned many facilities could be forced to close amid the pandemic.

Community Leisure UK, the members' association that specialises in representing charitable leisure and culture trusts across England, Scotland and Wales, estimates that 48% of all public leisure facilities face closure, meaning as many as 1,300 could disappear by the end of the year, along with more than 58,000 jobs.

 

Birmingham 2022 unveils venue for 3x3 basketball and beach volleyball to mark two years to go
 
In exactly two years’ time, the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games will begin, and organisers are marking this major milestone on the countdown to the Games by unveiling Smithfield, with its impressive city-scape backdrop, as the chosen location to create two bespoke arenas side by side to stage the 3x3 basketball and beach volleyball competitions.
 
Smithfield, previously the site of Birmingham’s Wholesale Markets, is located at the heart of the city centre and will be a crucial venue, for the host city, creating an urban hub that’s just a short walk from Birmingham’s famous Bullring shopping centre, with views of the Rotunda and Selfridges building.
 
The new venue announcement has been warmly welcomed by the sports that will play there, and comes on what would have been the fourth day of sporting action at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, with the prospect of a major multi-sport home Games providing a positive point on the sporting horizon for Team England hopefuls to set their sights on over the next 24 months.
 
Temporary courts for the two sports have been set up at the site as part of the two years to go celebrations, giving current and future stars of both sports, and young basketballers from the City of Birmingham Basketball Club the first chance to try out the location and to provide just a flavour of the sporting action that spectators can expect in 2022.
 
Nigel Huddleston, Minister for Sport, Tourism and Heritage, who is visiting the site today, said: "2022 will be a fantastic year of celebration for the UK, with a number of major events including the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and Festival 2022. 

“With two years to go until Birmingham 2022, we've reached another major milestone. The site at Smithfield will be right at the heart of that, acting as a powerful focal point in making this a Games for everyone and helping to create a real buzz in the heart of the city.”
 
Birmingham 2022 finalised using the Smithfield site after working closely with the host city and the national governing bodies and international federations for the sports.
 
Chief Executive Officer for Birmingham 2022, Ian Reid, said: “Today marks exactly two years to go until the official opening ceremony for Birmingham 2022 and we’re on track with our plans to host a spectacular event which will not only put Birmingham and the West Midlands centre stage but will also be an integral part of the region’s recovery plan following the global pandemic, bringing jobs for local people and contracts for local businesses.
 
“Smithfield is a fantastic location for these two sports, allowing us to bring together thousands of local people and spectators from further afield and enabling us to create a key hub for the Games in the heart of the city centre. It’s currently a blank canvas which will allow us to transform this location into a vibrant venue for two exciting sports that will no doubt bring a festival atmosphere to the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.”
 
The 3x3 version of basketball is making its debut as a Commonwealth Sport in Birmingham. It will also be the first time that wheelchair basketball in any format has featured at a Commonwealth Games, a sport which is expected to be one of the highlights of the integrated para sports programme – the biggest in history for the multi-sport event, with eight sports set to feature at Birmingham 2022.
 
Beach volleyball will be making its second appearance at a Commonwealth Games after the sport was added to the Birmingham 2022 programme last summer. The Smithfield site, at the heart of the landlocked city of Birmingham, will provide an interesting contrast to the sport’s first Commonwealth Games appearance on Australia’s Gold Coast, however organisers revealed that its popularity with a younger audience was one of the main reasons for choosing to add the sport, identifying this as a good fit for a city that is one of the youngest in Europe, with 60% of its residents aged 30 or under.
 
The Smithfield site is owned by Birmingham City Council and its Deputy Leader, Councillor Brigid Jones, said: “We are delighted to be able to make available a prime piece of city centre land in the council’s ownership as a Commonwealth Games venue – making it a focal point of Games-related festivities in the city in the summer of 2022.
 
“It offers a stunning backdrop that depicts the very best of Birmingham’s past, present and future, showing off a key part of the city’s skyline to a massive global audience.
 
“And for the people of Birmingham, the Games-time plan gives a fantastic purpose and use to this land before we bring forward our plans to redevelop the site into a thriving hub of residential, commercial and leisure developments, including a new home for our retail markets.”
 
The Commonwealth Games Federation is also joining the other Games Partners in celebrating the countdown to Birmingham 2022 and CGF President, Dame Louise Martin DBE, said: “Today marks two years to go to the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. It only feels like yesterday that the Commonwealth Games Federation awarded the city the right to stage the XXII edition of the competition, when in reality, that announcement was back in December 2017!
 
“Birmingham and the West Midlands are making excellent progress towards staging a fantastic competition for athletes, fans and spectators, alike, across the Commonwealth.
 
“Birmingham is one of the most culturally diverse cities of the UK, home to 187 nationalities which makes the 2022 Commonwealth Games really feel like a home Games for all of our 71 nations and territories. It is truly a Commonwealth city. We are looking forward to welcoming the world to the West Midlands in just two years’ time.”
 

Over 200 athletes have confirmed their entry for the Müller British Athletics Championships with six weeks to go including World Championship silver medallist Shara Proctor and para world champions Stef Reid and Sabrina Fortune.

Following official invites being sent last week, the number of athletes confirmed to compete in Manchester from September 4-5 has surpassed 200 with Proctor and Reid’s appearance setting up a world class women’s long jump with Abigail Irozuru and Jazmin Sawyers having made the decision to star two weeks ago.

Fortune, who added the world F20 shot put title to her European crown last year, will compete once again in an integrated field in the women’s shot put as will five-time Paralympic medallist Dan Greaves in the men’s discus and world record holder in the F41 shot put Kyron Duke in the men’s shot put.

Zak Seddon, Britain’s first finalist in the men’s 3000m steeplechase at a World Championships since 1983, is the latest in a long list of British champions from 2019 confirmed to defend his title with Spencer Thomas, who won a dramatic men’s 800m final last year, among the next wave back to defend his title in Manchester.

Sprint hurdler David King, holder of both the 60m indoor and 110m outdoor titles for the first time in his career, joins Seddon and Thomas aiming to regain their British champion status as does Allan Smith in the men’s high jump after ending a five-year wait for gold last year.

Amelia Strickler will be bidding to add the outdoor crown in the women’s shot put to the indoor success she achieved in Glasgow in February as does Adam Hague in the men’s pole vault.

European champion in 2018 as part of the British men’s 4x100m relay team Harry Aikines-Aryeetey will travel to Manchester while Marc Scott and Chris Baker will look to top the Müller British Athletics Championships podium once again after wins in the 5000m and high jump back in 2018.

Cherry Alexander, Major Events Director at British Athletics, said: “The Müller British Athletics Championships are really starting to take shape with over 200 athletes confirming that they will compete in Manchester in September. We have announced a host of star names over the past two weeks and the latest list is no different and shows that the level of competition will be extremely high.

“It is fantastic to see our best para athletes choosing to compete as part of integrated fields once again and we look forward to more of the same as we countdown over the next six weeks.”