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.