Birmingham 2022 is inviting the best sporting facilities in the West Midlands to apply to become official training venues, giving them the opportunity to host international athletes from across the Commonwealth during the Games.
Organisers are looking for Games Time Training Venues for 10 of the 19 sports on the Birmingham 2022 programme, providing essential facilities for thousands of athletes leading up to and during the Games, from 18th July to 10th August 2022.
The sports requiring training venues are: athletics, boxing, women’s cricket T20, hockey, netball, artistic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, rugby sevens, swimming and triathlon.
Athletes competing in the remaining nine sports will train either at their competition venues, or at one of the three Campus Villages where athletes will stay during the Games.
Training venues are where athletes will fine tune their preparations for Birmingham 2022, so it is important that they have access to world class facilities to help them deliver their best performances in competition.
The West Midlands has some of the best sporting facilities in the world, and hosting international athletes is a chance for venues to raise their profile, spread the economic benefits of the Games across the region, and inspire communities through their involvement with Birmingham 2022.
Each sport has specific criteria which locations must meet to be eligible as a training venue. Venues can apply to host one or several sports depending on the facilities they have available.
Training venues must be located within a 30-minute drive time of one of the three Campus Villages where athletes will be staying during the Games: University of Birmingham, University of Warwick and the NEC.
Venues will be required for at least three weeks, from 18th July until 10th August 2022.
World number five squash player Sarah-Jane Perry from Kenilworth is a member of the Birmingham 2022 Athletes’ Advisory Committee. She said: “Any elite athlete will tell you that good preparation is the key to success at a major championships. Having the right training facilities during Birmingham 2022 is really important and, being based in the West Midlands already, I know that we have some of the best in the world.
“Having state-of-the-art training facilities gives athletes the confidence that they can perform to the best of their ability and I can’t wait to be competing for gold on home soil in 2022.”
Ian Reid, CEO of Birmingham 2022, said: “The West Midlands is home to many excellent sporting facilities, from major competition venues to state-of-the-art training centres. We are looking for the best venues from across the region to work with us to help thousands of international athletes prepare for the biggest sporting event the West Midlands has ever staged.
“This gives us another opportunity to showcase even more of the region’s assets to the world in 2022, as well as inspire, engage and connect communities all over the West Midlands to feel part of the Games”.
Women’s cricket T20 is one of the sports that requires Games Time Training Venues in 2022.
Asma Ajaz-Ali coaches young female players at Kings Heath Cricket Club and is England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) programme executive for Birmingham. She said: “Women’s cricket T20 is part of the Commonwealth Games sport programme for the first time at Birmingham 2022 so it will be a massive honour for some of the fantastic clubs we have across the West Midlands to become training venues for international stars in two years’ time.
“More and more young girls are playing cricket, and I am sure that seeing their heroes training at their clubs will inspire them to succeed, increase participation and grow the profile of the sport across the region.”
Scott Sturdy, rugby development officer for the RFU in the West Midlands, said: “It’s great that we will be able to watch the world’s best players in the West Midlands in 2022. It provides a fantastic opportunity to get more people involved in the sport.
“We have plenty of top class rugby facilities across the region which will provide a perfect training ground for international players to prepare for a thrilling tournament at the Coventry Stadium in 2022.”
Sports facilities can find out more about the criteria required to become a training venue at www.birmingham2022.com/trainingvenues. The deadline for applications is 30th September 2020.
Facilities that aren’t eligible to become Games Time Training Venues could instead be considered as a venue for a pre-games camp, which will see some teams arriving in England early to acclimatise and finalise their preparations before the Games begin.
Local authorities, facility managers and sports clubs can find out more about pre-games camps by emailing B2022trainingcamps@dcms.gov.uk