UA-74833448-1 Birmingham Offers Bid Support –

Birmingham Offers Bid Support

The Commonwealth Games Federation have stated that the programme for the Games is largely set, with Birmingham 2022 having the option to add further events.

Under the CGF’s Transformation 2022 strategic plan, a maximum of 4,300 athletes are permitted to appear at the Games.

From this number, 3,800 would be form compulsory sports, while 500 would come from optional events.

Athletics, basketball 3×3 and wheelchair basketball 3×3, badminton, boxing, hockey and judo are among the sports on the Birmingham 2022 programme.

Track, road, Para-cycling and mountain biking also feature, along with netball, rugby sevens, squash, table tennis, weightlifting, powerlifting and wrestling.

Swimming, para-swimming and diving are included as aquatics events, while triathlon and para-triathlon, lawn and para-lawn bowls also feature, along with artistic and rhythmic gymnastics.

Speaking at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, Steve Hollingworth, Head of Sport for Birmingham City Council, stated that a series of criteria were used to choose optional sports.

“There are five areas we considered when choosing optional sports.

“The popularity of the sport, locally, nationally and internationally is one, considering the facilities available to host the sports locally and nationally.

“The increased revenue opportunities through full stadiums, the attractiveness to our youth and how it fits in with our sports participation legacy around active citizenship and active lifestyles.

“Then there is equity and our commitment to para sports.

“We will be looking to announce our full programme later this year.

“It is about youth and what will encourage them to be active.

“Then it is really down to cost and the legacy.”

Hollingworth added that 3×3 basketball and mountain bike were chosen for their youth appeal.

Diving was chosen due to the development of the Sandwell Aquatics Centre, which will be the only permanent venue constructed for the Games.

Rhythmic gymnastics and track cycling, which will be held in London, was chosen for popularity and equity.

Para-triathlon was chosen as part of the Birmingham 2022’s commitment to the para-sport programme.

Shooting, however, has been the most controversial omission with the sport having been present at every Commonwealth Games since Kingston 1966, with the exception of Edinburgh 1970.

It remains only an optional sport at the Games and the decision to omit it from the event was made by Birmingham 2022.

A petition calling for the sport to be included, pointed out that the nearest Olympic-standard shooting range to the city is 130 miles away in Bisley in Surrey, host for the sport the last occasion the Commonwealth Games were staged in England, at Manchester in 2002.

This is five miles closer to Birmingham than the Velodrome on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London, which is hosting track cycling at Birmingham 2022.

Hollingworth justified the selection by highlighting the popularity of track cycling in the country, while he appeared to downplay the chances of beach volleyball being included, despite it debuting at Gold Coast 2018.

“There are some criteria we use and cycling is one of those hot tickets – it’s very popular, locally, nationally and internationally,” he said.

“We have venues in the country that can deliver the cycling and, therefore, there is limited costs to put on that event, so that’s the reason why we can justify cycling.

“As you know London 2012 did it [beach volleyball], and did it very successfully.

“We will announce all our sports later in the year.

“I think beach volleyball on the Gold Coast was a great fit.

“We’ve gone for three-on-three basketball, we are the youngest city in Europe and we think that will be a great fit in Birmingham.”

Thanks to Inside The Games for the release