Colors: Yellow Color

The Arab Women Sports Tournament (AWST), organised by Sharjah Women’s Sports  (SWS), has broken a personal record. The tournament’s Supreme Organising Committee (SOC) has announced the largest participation in its eight-year history with a record number of 74 clubs from 16 Arab countries, which will be competing in the fifth edition.

Set to run from Feb.2–12 in Sharjah, AWST 2020 will be held under the patronage of Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan Bin Mohamed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, Chairperson of SWS.

The announcement was made at a press conference on Wednesday at the iconic Sharjah World Book Capital 2019 Monument, in the presence of Sheikh Khalid Bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Head of the SOC of AWST; Issa Hilal Al Hizami, Secretary-General of the Sharjah Sports Council; Nada Askar Al Naqbi, Deputy Head of the SOC of AWST, Head of the Executive Committee and Director General of SWS; Abdulaziz Taryam, CEO, Advisor and General Manager of Etisalat – Northern Emirates; and Rashid Al Obaid, Director of Sharjah Sports Channel.

During the event, SOC revealed that the UAE topped the list with 14 participating clubs, followed by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) with 12 clubs, which is the highest number of clubs from KSA that has signed up to compete in any edition of AWST.

The Committee also confirmed that nine clubs will be representing Bahrain, while Jordan, Kuwait, and Algeria would participate in the sporting event with six clubs each.

The rest of the participating countries include Egypt with 4 clubs; Libya, Sudan, Qatar, Syria, Tunisia, and Palestine with two clubs each; and Oman, Iraq, and Morocco with one each.

The committee announced that UAE and Bahrain will compete in all nine sports: shooting, basketball, volleyball, table tennis, athletics, show jumping, fencing, archery and karate. Saudi Arabia will compete in all sports except shooting.

Kuwait is gearing up to take part in the shooting, basketball, volleyball, table tennis, archery and karate competitions, while Egyptian clubs will compete in shooting, basketball, volleyball, table tennis, archery and karate.

Jordanian sportswomen will be aiming for top spots in basketball, volleyball, table tennis, athletics, show jumping, and karate. Algerian athletes will concentrate on volleyball, table tennis, archery, karate, shooting and basketball, while Libya will participate in table tennis, athletics, and karate.

Sudanese athletes will compete in athletics, show jumping, and archery, while Syrian sportswomen will take part in volleyball and karate. The Tunisian teams will compete in volleyball and basketball, while Palestinian sportswomen will test their might in athletics and karate. Shooting will be the only sport Omani athletes will participate in, while Qatari sportswomen will compete in fencing and shooting. Iraq and Morocco too will participate in only one sport each, archery and table tennis, respectively.

In a keynote speech, Sheikh Khalid Bin Ahmed Al Qasimi stressed that Sharjah’s commitment to organising this biennial tournament reiterates its firm belief that sports is more than a past time or a hobby; it is a social and human right. He noted that the state of sports in a country was an indicator of its advancement.

He said: “We consider AWST as our message to the rest of the Arab societies, a bridge for collaboration, and a platform for Arab sportswomen. Since the beginning, Sharjah has worked tirelessly to make sports accessible to everyone. The emirate founded many institutions, including the Sharjah Sports Council, to achieve that goal. We can proudly say that we are on the crest of achieving this monumental development goal.”

Abdulaziz said: “It is a great honour for Etisalat to sponsor some of the prestigious sporting events, including AWST, which brings together world-class athletes from clubs in the UAE and the Arab world. This step aligns with our philosophy of leading the efforts to support community initiatives in the UAE, in line with the national ideal of empowering women across all fields, especially in sports.”

“The UAE is committed to developing effective plans and strategies to support women in all walks of life. We also believe in the role of sports in maintaining and improving the physical and mental health of society members. We wish the next edition of AWST great success, where players will be able to achieve their sporting dreams,” he added.

 

Birmingham’s Edgbaston Stadium has reached an agreement with Cricket Ireland to host a men’s Twenty20 International (T20I) match between Ireland and Bangladesh on Friday 29 May 2020.

Edgbaston, which is already hosting a One-Day International (ODI) between world champions England and Ireland on Saturday 12 September as part of a seven-day England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) major match programme in 2020, is one of four English venues to be named by Cricket Ireland as a host for the four-match IT20 series.

Neil Snowball, Chief Executive of Edgbaston Stadium and Warwickshire County Cricket Club, said: “We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to extend our programme of major match cricket and to bring another international cricket fixture to Birmingham and to the wider West Midlands region.

“Ireland fans bring great colour and noise wherever they play in the world, so we’re very excited to host them for the first time, whilst Bangladesh fans won so many plaudits and created a great atmosphere in their visits to Edgbaston during the ICC men’s Cricket World Cup and ICC Champions Trophy.

“Our masterplan for the redevelopment of Edgbaston has been created to ensure that Edgbaston remains one of the leading cricket venues in the world and to enable us to host a broader portfolio of events and fixtures.

“We’re looking forward to working with the Cricket Ireland team and we hope that this can be the start of a partnership, which could lead to further opportunities in the future.”

Ireland’s schedule for the T20I series with Bangladesh begins at the Kia Oval in London on Friday 22 May, with following fixtures at the Essex County Ground in Chelmsford on Sunday 24 and the Bristol County Ground on Wednesday 27 before the fourth and final fixture is played at Edgbaston on Friday 29 May.

Cricket Ireland Chief Executive, Warren Deutrom, said: “Edgbaston is quite simply one of the most iconic and heralded grounds in England, and this will be the first time in 15 years Ireland has played at the ground. We have in fact, back in our Associate days, played Warwickshire three times at the ground, but apart from these encounters, Ireland’s greatest association with Edgbaston is through our players who have played for the County.

“Icons of our game like William Porterfield and Boyd Rankin, as well as one of our brightest emerging talents, Mark Adair, have played in recent times here. We hope to see the local fans, regardless of allegiance, come out and enjoy what will undoubtedly be a competitive spectacle.”

 

He is making massive waves as he leads his Bayern Munich side to what seems likely to be yet another Bundesliga title. But, as Sarpreet Singh is just starting out in making his name at one of world football’s grand doyens, the attention he is getting in his parent’s native India is already fast growing to the proportions that can probably matched by the likes of Christian Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in their own native Portugal and Argentina respectively.

Born in Auckland, in New Zealand, the young attacking midfield player came to world prominence after he impressed Bayern scouts while he was playing for New Zealand at the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup.

In fact, so impressed were the Bayern scout that they signed the young Singh on a three-year deal – said to be in the region between NZD $750,000 and $1,000,000, before almost immediately making his debut in the Bayern Munich II reserve team, which in itself was no mean feat.

And that, in itself, wasn’t the first time he was spotted by one of Europe’s leading clubs.

At the age of ten, he represented Auckland at the Australian National Futsal Championships, winning the MVP (Most Valuable Player) award and attracting interest from Premier League stalwarts Everton.

He made his international debut, for New Zealand’s under-17 level for the 2015 OFC U-17 Championship before competing at the 2017 and 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cups.

In an interview with FCBayern.com, he talked of his surprise at being integrated into Bayern’s first team almost immediately after moving to the club from Wellington Phoenix. After signed for Bayern Munich II, Singh said his initial plan was to get used to the German game in 3. Liga and simply take it "one step at a time".

"The move from the Australian league to Germany was a huge one," Singh said. 

Although seen as a beacon foe South East Asian football, Bayern insist that their decision to sign Singh was simply "a sporting one".

He (Singh) recognises his achievements could blaze a trail for South Asian and Kiwi footballers, saying: "Hopefully, I can set a good platform for the players that follow me.

"That's kind of my goal - to be the best I can be, set a good example for the kids to come and encourage them to keep working hard so that one day it'll be them."

Sapreet Singh’s early taste of first team football has made him more determined than ever to kick on with his career and make a name - and successful career - in Germany.

Fresh from breaking the pole vault world record in Glasgow, 20-year-old superstar Mondo Duplantis will return to the UK this summer to compete at the Müller Anniversary Games in London on Sunday 5th July 2020 of the Müller Anniversary Games weekend.

One of the biggest young stars in world athletics, Duplantis’ rise to prominence has come on the back of a number of major medal wins and record-breaking feats over the course of the last few years.

Most recently, Duplantis historically revised the pole vault world record twice in the space of one week, first with a clearance at 6.17m in Torun, Poland on February 8 before then going 1cm better at the Müller Indoor Grand Prix Glasgow with 6.18m on February 15.

During his breakthrough as a senior athlete, Duplantis backed up becoming the youngest world finalist for some 34 years at London 2017 – his last outing in the British capital - with European gold in 2018, the winning height a hugely notable one given the mark of 6.05m saw him set a huge personal best as well as revise his own under-20 world record.

World silver followed last October in Doha following a gripping shoot-out for a first global senior gold. Now with the world record his own, Duplantis is targeting an eye-catching performance in London this July as part of his preparation for a debut Olympic Games come Tokyo 2020.

The news follows previous announcements confirming the attendance of Britain’s reigning world champions Katarina Johnson-Thompson (coach: Bertrand Valcin; club: Liverpool Harriers) and Dina Asher-Smith (John Blackie; Blackheath & Bromley) at this year’s event.

World record holder and multi-global medallist, Mondo Duplantis spoke of his excitement ahead of returning to London: “I’m hugely excited to be heading back to the UK to compete at the Müller Anniversary Games this summer. The memories I have of vaulting in the UK – from competing at my first world championships in front of tens of thousands of people to breaking the world record in Glasgow a few weeks ago – are unforgettable, so to have another opportunity to return to the UK is huge for me.”

“Both of my previous performances in London and Glasgow owed so much to the support of the British crowd, and I’ll definitely be looking to feed off that support and produce an amazing performance in London come July.”

Major Events Director for British Athletics, Cherry Alexander OBE said: “We’re incredibly excited to have Mondo heading back to the UK. At just 20, his world-record breaking performance in Glasgow has cemented him as one of the most exciting athletes to watch in the world both at current and for years to come, so the British fans are in for a real treat when he heads to London this summer.

“Having Mondo confirmed on the bill for the Müller Anniversary Games alongside two of our homegrown heroines in Kat and Dina is magnificent news for the event, and is ultimately part of our ambition and commitment to building the best fields in the world, for the best fans in the world.”

The Müller Anniversary Games is the 10th stop on the 2020 WANDA Diamond League calendar, which also features Gateshead’s Müller Grand Prix on 16 August.

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  • United by Birmingham 2022 is bringing together community projects in support of the Games
  • 12 West Midlands organisations have been awarded the United by Birmingham 2022 status
  • Gold medal winning, Ama Agbeze, named as the official United by Birmingham 2022 ambassador

4th March 2020:  TODAY, the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games is launching its new community programme, United by Birmingham 2022

The United by Birmingham 2022 programme is bringing together ambitious and innovative West Midlands based community projects that share a common purpose with the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

United by Birmingham 2022 is recognising grass-roots organisations that are having a positive impact on the communities they serve across a diverse range of subjects. This includes, but is not limited to, projects that aim to improve skills, offer training, provide volunteering resources, benefit the environment, encourage participation in sport, or deliver youth engagement activities.

To mark today’s launch, over 40 representatives from 12 local charities and social enterprises are coming together in Oozells Square, Brindley Place in Birmingham city centre to take part in a 5km United by Birmingham 2022 run.   The run is being led by Team England gold-medal-winning athlete and United by Birmingham 2022 official ambassador, Ama Agbeze. It is facilitated by GoodGym, a UK-wide community of runners that combines getting fit with doing good deeds.  Together, representatives from the founding 12 United by Birmingham 2022 projects will run along Birmingham’s canals, carrying out a litter pick to ensure that the canal network is clean.  

The United by Birmingham 2022 programme is now open for not-for-profit organisations to apply to. Projects will be awarded the United by Birmingham 2022 status if they can demonstrate how they share a common purpose with Birmingham 2022. The programme will enable projects that align with the ambitions of Birmingham 2022 to be recognised for the work they are doing and use the new community programme logo in their communications and at events to amplify their activity.

 

The United by Birmingham 2022 programme recognises non-commercial community projects that are aligned with the vision and mission of the Games. These are:

  • To bring people together
  • Improve health and wellbeing
  • Help the region to grow and succeed
  • Be a catalyst for change
  • Put the region on the map.

The run will conclude at disability charity Sense’s TouchBase Pears centre in Selly Oak where the attendees will take part in a chair yoga session. Those who don’t run will join World Against Single Use Plastic (WASUP) on a litter pick.

The 12 founding projects of United by Birmingham 2022 programme are:

  • Goodgym – Group Sessions - During group sessions, GoodGym members run to visit isolated, older people, to provide friendly contact and to help with practical tasks.
  • The Prince’s Trust – Youth Summit 2021 – Using the United by Birmingham programme to support the 2021 Youth Summit, which hopes to increase engagement with young people across the region.
  • Canal & River Trust – Community Activity and Wellbeing Programme - This programme provides free events and taster sessions in fishing, performing, running, walking, cycling and paddling and works with partners to ensure regular physical activity takes place. 
  • EmployabilityUK - Inspiring Young Birmingham programme, which will recruit new volunteers and provide consistent training and online support for young people. 
  • SenseConnecting communities programme which will help the Sense TouchBase Pears Centre become a centre of excellence for disability arts.
  • Jericho Foundation – awarded for their Equiano project which helps raise awareness of their cause and encourages people to support their work
  • Sport Birmingham – supporting the Daily Mile Commonwealth Challenge, to amplify their influence and encourage more people to take up this challenge. 
  • Acorns Children’s Hospice, - for the Gift of Time programme which helps emphasise the urgency and immediacy of the need for communities to rally together for the greater good. 
  • Bringing Hope, has been awarded the United by Birmingham mark for two projects – ‘Food Taste and Talk Pots’ and their ‘Sports and Talk Spot’ events
  • Witton Lodge Community Association - has been awarded the United by Birmingham mark for their Perry Common Games events, to improve health, wellbeing and community relations in the local area. 
  • World Against Single Use Plastic – Schools Engagement Canal clean-up programme, a project that helps to make the local environment better
  • Compass Support -  sporting development programme, to promote and celebrate their intergenerational activities that reduce isolation and encourage an increase in physical activity. 

 040320GAMES 04

Nigel Huddleston, Minister for Sport, Tourism and Heritage, said:

"It is fantastic that the United by Birmingham 2022 community programme is launching today. On my visit to Birmingham and Sandwell last week I saw the real enthusiasm and excitement that is building towards 2022. This initiative presents a great opportunity for community organisations from across the West Midlands and beyond to connect with the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and boost awareness of their projects.

“Improving the health and wellbeing of people of all ages is at the heart of our mission for the Games, so I am delighted that many of the founding projects for United by Birmingham 2022 will help to make this ambition become a reality.”

John Crabtree, Chair of Birmingham 2022, said: United by Birmingham 2022 is a unique opportunity for us to team up with not-for-profit organisations who are doing amazing things in their communities, through projects that are aligned to our vision and mission for the Games. By working together, we hope to shine a light on each and every one of our United by Birmingham 2022 projects and empower them through the Games.

 

“Bringing our founding projects together to launch United by Birmingham 2022 shows the wonderful things that can be achieved by working together, and we hope to inspire more organisations to sign up to become a United by Birmingham 2022 project and benefit from the Games.”

Ama Agbeze, Team England athlete and Official United by Birmingham 2022 Ambassador said: “As a local person and proud ambassador for United by Birmingham 2022 I’ve loved being part of the launch and I am excited to spend time with the projects to learn more about what they do and unlock the ways that we can work together to achieve common goals as we prepare for Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.”

The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that will bring athletes, officials, spectators and local people together in a unique celebration of sport, culture and business, creating growth and positive change in Birmingham the wider West Midlands. 

For more information about United by Birmingham 2022 or to submit your project application please visit: www.birmingham2022.com/United

 

ENDS

For more information about the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, please contact:

 

Birmingham 2022

Sarah Dickson                         This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.          07494 671802

 

Wolverhampton Grand Theatre has announced that football legend, Paul Gascoigne, has joined the line-up of ‘A Tribute To Italia 90’, an evening of stories from the players of one of England’s most dramatic World Cup tournaments.

The evening will raise money for the Grand Theatre and The Steve Bull Foundation. 

Steve ‘Bully’ Bull will appear as part of the line up alongside Peter Shilton, Paul Parker, Dave Beasant and the newly announced Paul ‘Gazza’ Gascoigne. The evening will be hosted by Sky Sports’ Johnny Phillips.

Steve Bull said; “I love coming to the Grand Theatre, the shows they have on are absolutely unbelievable and I recommend anybody to come down.

“We are going to be reliving the 1990 World Cup, 30 years on! We might have a few more names to add yet, just wait and see! We’ll tell you loads of stories, see you there!”

From David Platt’s goal against Belgium, the extra time win against Cameroon, Gazza’s tears and that dramatic semi-final penalty shootout against West Germany.

Come Monday May 18, they surely will be discussing it all.

The English Premier League will be inducting its first two Hall of Fame names this month with a shortlist of nominees to be announced for future inclusion, voted for by fans.

It will be separate to the English Football Hall of Fame, which has existed since 2002 at the National Football Museum.

The Premier League version will recognise players of "exceptional skill and talent" from home and worldwide who have played in the game’s top tier since it began in 1992 – with candidates who have retired and whose Premier League career comes into consideration.

Each inductee will receive a personalised medallion, engraved with the year of their induction.

Premier League Chief Executive, Richard Masters, said: "The Premier League Hall of Fame is reserved for the very best in the game and will be an occasion for our fans around the world to look back over the years and help us celebrate some truly exceptional playing careers."

The likes of legends such as former Manchester United star, Ryan Giggs, Arsenal’s Thierry Henry and former Southampton, Blackburn and Newcastle United’s record-breaking striker, Alan Shearer were the first suggested names on the list of world-class players to have graced the Premier League.

Now, the very best of the best will receive a new highly exclusive honour after the Premier League’s announcement of its first Hall of Fame.

Of course, though, the millions of fans of clubs who have graced the Premier League since its inception, in 1992, have their own individual to put forward.

"Membership of the Premier League Hall of Fame will be the highest individual honor awarded to players by the League," it said in a statement.

As a footnote; on what would have been his 59th birthday - former Norwich City, Nottingham Forest and England striker, Justin Fashanu, was inducted into the National Football Museum's Hall of Fame.

 

Children aged 11 and under in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland will no longer be taught to head footballs during training.

This comes as new Football Association guidelines for coaches also puts limits on how much heading older children should do.

The ruling follows Glasgow University research that showed former footballers were three-and-a-half times more likely to die from brain disease.

The English Football Association of Wales said its guidance for coaches on children heading the ball was currently under review with the findings being made available later this year.

In a joint announcement from the FA, Scottish FA and Irish FA, coaches were advised that there should be "no heading in training in the foundation phase" - which covers primary school children, or under-11 teams and below.

There are also new rules for age ranges up until 18, with headers being kept a "low priority" and gradually becoming more frequent in training until the age of 16.

There will be no changes to heading in youth matches, where the FA said headers are rare.

FA chief executive Mark Bullingham said: "This guidance is an evolution of our current guidelines and will help coaches and teachers to reduce and remove repetitive and unnecessary heading from youth football.

"It is a responsible development to our grassroots coaching without impacting the enjoyment that children of all ages take from playing the game."

An inquest into the death – in 2002 - of ex-West Bromwich Albion and England striker Jeff Astle found heading heavy leather footballs repeatedly contributed to trauma to his brain.

His daughter, Dawn Astle, who has campaigned for changes in rules over headers, said she was "pleased" with the ruling and that it was "sensible" following the research.

Published in October last year, the University of Glasgow study found that former professional footballers were more likely to die of degenerative brain disease - and five times more likely to die from Parkinson's disease.

There was no evidence in the study that linked incidences of the disease with heading the ball, but the FA said the new guidance had been issued to "mitigate against any potential risks".

Ms Astle added that there should now be guidelines for training for footballers aged 18 and over.

Qatar Airways have announce that it is the new Premium Partner and Official Airline Partner of Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), France’s most successful football club, for the next three seasons.

The multi-Ligue 1 champion joins in the exclusive group of top global football clubs proudly supported by the world’s number one airline, including Italy’s AS Roma, Boca Juniors in Argentina and German club FC Bayern München.

Qatar Airways Senior Vice President Marketing and Corporate Communications, Ms. Salam Al Shawa, said: “We are thrilled to welcome the famous French club to our extensive sport sponsorship portfolio, and look forward to having them on board. In Paris Saint-Germain we have found a partner that shares our passion for innovation and we will work together to develop many exciting activities to engage with supporters and our global audience.”

PSG Chief Partnerships Officer, Marc Armstrong, added: “We are delighted to welcome Qatar Airways into the Paris Saint-Germain family as the Official Airline Partner of the club.

“This is another example of our strong desire to develop innovative partnerships with leading global brands and Qatar Airways is a natural choice for us as it shares our commitment to creating powerful connections with fans all over the world.”

The PSG partnership will also see Qatar Airways become Official Partner of the PSG handball and women’s football teams until 2022.

Qatar Airways have developed a wide range of global sports sponsorships, supporting top-level sporting events and some of the world’s biggest football clubs.

As official FIFA partner, Qatar Airways recently sponsored the FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2019 and will sponsor the FIFA Club World Cup 2020 edition ahead of the FIFA World Cup

Qatar 2022.

Qatar Airways - the first Gulf carrier to join global airline alliance oneworld, - is also partner of CONMEBOL, the governing body for football in South America.

A multiple award-winning airline, Qatar Airways was named ‘World’s Best Airline’ by the 2019 World Airline Awards, managed by international air transport rating organisation Skytrax. It was also named ‘Best Airline in the Middle East’, ‘World’s Best Business Class’ and ‘Best Business Class Seat’, in recognition of its ground-breaking Business Class experience, Qsuite.

The world’s fastest-growing airline added several new destinations to its network last year, including Rabat, Morocco; Izmir, Turkey; Malta; Davao, Philippines; Lisbon, Portugal; Mogadishu, Somalia; Langkawi, Malaysia; and Gaborone, Botswana. The airline will add Santorini, Greece; Dubrovnik, Croatia; Osaka, Japan; Nur-Sultan and Almaty, Kazakhstan; Cebu, Philippines; Accra, Ghana; Trabzon, Turkey; Lyon, France; Luanda, Angola; and Siem Reap, Cambodia, to its extensive route network in 2020.

In a series of reports to Cabinet on February 11, Birmingham City Council members will be asked to note overall strong progress in preparing for and delivering the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. Cabinet will also be asked to endorse an Outline Business Case (OBC) to realise the legacy of redeveloping the Alexander Stadium.

The OBC places the stadium at the heart of an improved Perry Park, transforming the much-loved open space into a hub of community, leisure, health and wellbeing activity – as part of the effort to improve the quality of life for those already living in the area and to make Perry Barr a place that people from far and wide want to visit and call home.

Councillor Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “Having just secured planning permission to redevelop the Alexander Stadium, a scheme that is on budget and schedule, the publication of the OBC is yet more encouraging news as we continue to work with our Games Partners to prepare for the biggest event in the city’s history.

“Things are now starting to progress at pace ahead of the summer of 2022 when we welcome 6,500 athletes and officials from 71 nations and territories to Birmingham.

“Post-Games, the rebuilt Stadium will become the focal point of all community, leisure and wellbeing activity in a regenerated Perry Barr. This OBC details the way forward as we seek to improve the quality of life for those already living in this part of north-west Birmingham.”

In addition, a £9million council investment is being proposed as part of an initial £15m package into services to ensure the wider city is truly “Games ready” and in the best position possible to reap the full long-term benefits of staging the event.

Cllr Ward added: “We are a proud host city, so this funding will enable the council to get things in place so the city is ready to maximise the potential of hosting the games and the benefits the event will bring in the years beyond 2022.

“The need for these resources was always anticipated. Its use will not be directly related to the actual delivery of the Games. It will be used to improve the city for everyone who lives in, works in or visits Birmingham, with full details in the months ahead.

“Given we have funding available at this time, it is right to allocate it now because with more than two years to go until the Games, it gives the council as much time as possible to maximise the benefits from this increased investment.”

Finally, with land assembly largely complete and a number of plots already let for construction works, approval will be sought at the February 11 meeting to enter into contract on the largest plot on the site (1,354 bedspaces) as the regeneration of Perry Barr continues at pace and the requirements for the Games Village are met.

In addition, the reports to Cabinet also detail how the council is continuing to work with partners locally and nationally to address previously-identified cost pressures between now and Games-time that relate to the Village, with a Revised Full Business Case for the scheme due before councillors in due course.

Proposals for the redevelopment of the Alexander Stadium were approved by Birmingham City Council’s Planning Committee – making a major milestone in the preparations for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

At the heart of the wider effort to regenerate Perry Barr, the £72million plan will see the venue become a high-quality venue for diverse sporting, leisure, community and cultural events in the decades to come.

Initially, the stadium is set to be the focal point of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, hosting the Opening and Closing Ceremonies as well as the athletics events during the 11-day event which features 6,500 athletes and officials from 71 nations and territories.

The redeveloped stadium would increase its permanent seating capacity from 12,700 to 18,000 allowing more than 30,000 during the Games through additional temporary seating.

Post-Games it will be at the centre of a regenerated Perry Barr, which is receiving more than £500million of investment in the coming years, which also includes new housing, improved transport and related upgrades to infrastructure and public space.

The revamped stadium is set to host a range of tenants including the world-famous Birchfield Harriers Athletics Club and Birmingham City University - providing a new home for the university’s sports and exercise students, bringing an exciting new partnership and purpose to the stadium beyond athletics – as well as becoming a focal point for a range of leisure, health, wellbeing and community activities for local residents and the wider general public.

Councillor Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “We’ve always been clear that Birmingham 2022 is about much more than 11 days of fantastic world-class sporting action. The Games are about regeneration, improved health and wellbeing, promoting the city on a global stage and building civic pride.

“This particular scheme is integral to all of those aims and benefits – the eyes of the Commonwealth and indeed the wider world will be on the venue during the Games, but the longer-term opportunities the improved stadium will offer a regenerated Perry Barr, and indeed the wider region and nation, mean the delivery of this scheme is crucial for the city’s future.”

Abazz Shayaam-Smith, triple jumper and Team England scholarship recipient, said: “The first time I came here I was 13 years old. It’s now going to be really inspirational. I’ve seen the designs and it’s going to look really good.

“To think of how many nations will come here in 2022 and compete on this track it’s so exciting.”

Deputy Mayor of the West Midlands, Cllr Bob Sleigh, added: “The West Midlands Combined Authority was pleased to contribute funding towards the redevelopment of the Alexander Stadium as not only will it provide a world class sporting arena at the heart of our region, it meets our aim of encouraging economic growth, creating jobs and improving the health of citizens.

“We are also investing in train, bus, tram and cycle routes across the whole region, which will not only meet the public transport needs for Birmingham 2022 but serve the people of the West Midlands for years to come.”

Ian Reid, Chief Executive for Birmingham 2022, said: “The Alexander Stadium is a pivotal venue for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, as not only will it host the track and field events for athletics but it’s also where we will stage our official opening and closing ceremonies for the Games.

Construction of the new stand will commence in spring of this year, with completion in late 2021.

68 Team GB athletes have been offered membership to the Olympic World Class Programme (WCP) for 2020.

Jake Wightman and Tom Bosworth, who finished fifth and seventh in the 1500m and 20km race walk respectively at this year’s World Championships in Doha, have been recognised for their performances by being moved from Olympic Podium Potential to Olympic Podium level.

Following his fourth in the 200m in Qatar, Adam Gemili, who also claimed 4x100m relay silver, has been added to Olympic Podium as an individual while long jumper Abigail Irozuru has been welcomed onto the WCP as a new member at the highest level having finished seventh at the World Championships.

There are ten new additions to the WCP in total with seven athletes being offered membership at Olympic Podium Potential including world 1500m finalist and British champion Neil Gourley and triple jumper Ben Williams who added 54cm onto his lifetime best across the course of the season to end 2019 seventh on the UK all-time list with 17.27m.

Jamie Webb is also added having won a superb European indoor silver in March and finished 2019 as the British No.1 in the 800m while Jodie Williams and Jessica Turner join at Olympic Relays following their contribution to the women’s 4x400m relay team throughout the summer.

The British Athletics WCP is UK Sport’s National Lottery-funded initiative to support the delivery of success at the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Membership onto the WCP for 2020 is based upon an athletes’ potential to win a medal at Tokyo 2020 or Paris 2024.

There are three levels of membership of the WCP at Olympic level with numbers for 2020 broken down as follows: Olympic Podium (16), Olympic Podium Potential (29), and Olympic Relays (23).

Athletes can use their discretion should they not wish to accept membership to the WCP. Endurance athletes funded separately to the WCP will be announced in due course. British Athletics Futures Programme athletes will be announced within the next week.

Due to the late staging of the World Para Athletics Championships in 2019, the full WCP for 2020, including Paralympic levels, will be announced in the new year.

BRITISH ATHLETICS OLYMPIC WORLD CLASS PROGRAMME 2020:

Olympic Podium (16)

Dina Asher-Smith, Tom Bosworth, Holly Bradshaw, Mo Farah, Adam Gemili, Callum Hawkins, Sophie Hitchon,, Zharnel Hughes, Abigail Irozuru, Katarina Johnson-Thompson,, Nick Miller, Laura Muir, Reece Prescod,, Lynsey Sharp, Lorraine Ugen and Jake Wightman.

Olympic Podium Potential (29)

Andrew Butchart, Taylor Campbell, Melissa Courtney, Tim Duckworth, Niamh Emerson, Tom Gale, Elliot Giles, Neil Gourley, Charlie Grice, Dewi Griffiths, Josh Kerr, Morgan Lake, Kyle Langford, Chris McAlister, Eilish McColgan, Sarah McDonald, Naomi Ogbeta, Shelayna Oskan-Clarke, Andrew Pozzi, Aimee Pratt, Charlotte Purdue, Jemma Reekie, Daniel, Rowden, Jazmin Sawyers, Steph Twell, Jamie Webb, Laura Weightman, Callum Wilkinson and Ben Williams.

Olympic Relays (23)

Amy Allcock, Kristal Awuah, Cameron Chalmers, Zoey Clark, Emily Diamond, Beth Dobbin, Eilidh Doyle, Miguel Francis, Matthew Hudson-Smith, Richard Kilty, Imani-Lara Lansiquot, Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake, Daryll Neita, Ashleigh Nelson, Laviai Nielsen, Asha Philip, Martyn Rooney, Danny Talbot, Jessica Turner, CJ Ujah, Jodie Williams, Bianca Williams and Rabah Yousif.

St Basils youth homelessness charity were presented a cheque for £40,000 from Edgbaston Golf Club, following a successful two year partnership.

St Basils, which takes its name from the small church hall it was first launched from in 1972 in Digbeth, Birmingham, has since become the largest youth homelessness charity in the West Midlands, supporting over 5,000 16-25 year olds each year with a range of prevention, accommodation, support, employability and engagement services.

An Edgbaston Golf Club spokesperson said: “Outgoing Edgbaston Golf Club Captains, Jim Jeffries and Janet Vakil, are delighted with the success of their two year’s association with St Basils. A Birmingham based Charity that works with young people to enable them to find and keep a home, grow their confidence, develop their skills and prevent homelessness. Fundraising activity, for Edgbaston's Captains’ Charity, included three sponsored walks: one in Spain and nearer to home at Ross-on-Wye and Cannock; and also a number of on-line auctions, raffles and contributions from Captains’ days, Invitation days and other golfing events. All of which were wonderfully well supported by the Edgbaston Membership and by friends of the Members.”

Barrie Hodge, Head of Fundraising and Communications at St Basils said: “We can’t thank the team at Edgbaston Golf club enough for their amazing support during this partnership.  Their commitment to our cause has been outstanding. The money raised by the club is an investment, not just in the young people we support, but in the future of our region and the place we call home.  On behalf of all the young people we support at St Basils, thank you.”

St Basils Business and Communities Executive for Birmingham Sian Dhillon said: “We’re really lucky to enjoy support from a number of local businesses in Birmingham who form partnerships with us as their chosen charity. Edgbaston Golf Club have gone above and beyond in terms of their dedication to the cause and we’ve been absolutely staggered by the generosity shown and by the amount they’ve managed to raise to help vulnerable young people across Birmingham.”

St Basils are always on the look-out for further business partners across Birmingham and the West Midlands.

Philippines Football League could be in for a major investment over the next three years, with claims of sponsorship with Qatar Airways circling around. The agreement between the two parties is reportedly set to begin by the end of October 2019.

The Philippines Football League revival could be handed a major boost with claims that Qatar Airways are in talks to become a sponsor for the next three years. The financial details of the deal are yet to be disclosed, however, Philippine Football Federation President, Nonong Araneta, claimed that it clears up funding for the league to use for junior-level tournaments.

The agreement was set to be enforced from the 2019 Copa Paulino Alcantara, which was scheduled to begin on October 26, 2019.

The 2019 season of the Philippines Football League was still underway, with the campaign itself ending on October 19, 2019. However, the champions for the year have already been crowned.

Ceres-Negros won their third consecutive PFL title with a win over Green Archers United.

On their way to the title, the Busmen recorded several impressive wins, including a 12-0 victory over Philippine Air Force and a 13-0 triumph over Global Makati. The defending champions are also unbeaten in the league up until now and could complete an ‘invincible’ season with a win over Kaya FC on the final matchday.

With their second-successive title win, Ceres-Negros also secured qualification to the 2020 AFC Champions League preliminary round 1.

Two West Mercia police officers have appeared at Birmingham Magistrates' Court after been charged with the assault and murder, of footballer Dalian Atkinson who died after being Tasered.

The ex-Aston Villa striker was restrained by police officers at his father's house in Telford, in Shropshire.

The Crown Prosecution Services (CPS) has not named the officers because it believes their defence will apply for them to remain anonymous.

After being informed, the family of the former Ipswich Town and Sheffield Wednesday striker issued a statement welcoming the decision but stated that they "regret that it has been more than three years since Dalian died".

The CPS made the decision to press charges following an investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

An alternative charge of an unlawful act manslaughter has also been put forward by the CPS for the officer charged with murder, known as ‘Officer A’ who remanded in custody after appearing before magistrates.

The second officer, Officer B, indicated she would plead not guilty and was bailed ahead of their next appearance at Birmingham Crown Court later.

Police officers attended Atkinson’s father’s home where he (Dalian) was detained outside.

He was taken by ambulance to the Princess Royal Hospital where he later died.

Dalian was has an England B cap against the Republic of Ireland, also played for Manchester City, plus La Liga side Real Sociedad and Fenerbahçe in Turkey.

 

 

 

With just 100 days to go, it has been announced that Britain's leating distant runner, Laura Muir, will attempt to set a 1000m World Record at the Müller Indoor Grand Prix Glasgow on Saturday 15 February 2020.

Confirmed to compete at the event which sees her race on familiar territory in her home city of Glasgow, the reigning double European indoor champion and European outdoor 1500m champion will aim to start 2020 in electric style as she targets a historic world record -breaking performance in front of her home crowd.

Muir is already the British and European record holder over 1000m having clocked 2:31.93 back in 2017 to go second on the all-time list behind Maria Mutola, and now she will aim to take the number one spot by breaking the world record of 2:30.94 – set back in 1999 - when she races at the Emirates Arena next February.

Not only does the venue serve as Muir’s indoor training base, but the 26-year-old also won 1500m and 3000m gold there at 2019’s European Indoor Championships – so she is relishing the opportunity to compete in front of packed home crowd as part of her Olympic Games preparations.

Speaking on racing at the Müller Indoor Grand Prix Glasgow, Laura said: “I can’t think of a better way to begin 2020 and Olympic year than with a world record attempt in my home city and in front of a home crowd at the Müller Indoor Grand Prix Glasgow.

“Through the hard sessions this winter, knowing that I’ll be stepping back out onto the track in Glasgow will be absolutely huge motivation, as will the opportunity to attack what is a really tough and long-standing world record.

“With that said, I feel that going quicker that 2:30.94 is a real possibility, and I can’t think of a better place to go for the record than in Glasgow and at such a world-class event.”

On the role the Emirates Arena crowd can play in the attempt, she added: “I know all about the Glasgow crowd from the European Indoors this year and I know they will be crazy as ever, so the opportunity to achieve something as historic as a world record with them cheering me all the way is really special.”

The Müller Indoor Grand Prix Glasgow serving as the UK-leg of the IAAF World Indoor Tour, and Muir’s presence in Glasgow sees her join the in competing at the Müller Indoor Grand Prix Glasgow.