More than 90 delegates representing 58 Commonwealth nations and territories have visited the West Midlands this week as part of their preparations for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
The delegates who represented nations and territories from all six regions of the Commonwealth, were able to tour venues, visit villages and meet with key members of staff from Birmingham 2022 and the Commonwealth Games Federation, to discuss important topics such as sport, village accommodation, accreditation, ceremonies and transport.
Included in the four-day visit have been tours of the brand-new Sandwell Aquatics Centre which will host swimming, Para swimming and diving at the Games, and the newly transformed Alexander Stadium, which will host the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, as well as the athletics and Para athletics events.
The delegates were also taken to three campus villages for the Games at the University of Warwick, the NEC and the University of Birmingham. The latter two sites are also locations for competition venues and training venues, so are key hubs for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
The representatives from the international teams were also given a warm welcome at official events hosted by Birmingham City Council, University of Birmingham, Commonwealth Games England and the Commonwealth Games Federation.
We are looking forward to being here for the Games
Scott Stevenson, Director of Sport for Commonwealth Games Canada, said: “I’m very impressed with the facilities for the Games. The Sandwell Aquatics Centre will serve the teams really well and it is an exciting venue. It has everything we need for warm-up facilities for both swimming and diving and the dry dive facilities are excellent – that’s not something that everyone thinks of.”
Lovie Santana, Chef de Mission for the Trinidad and Tobago team, said: “Birmingham is a beautiful city and I think one of the things that stood out for me, coming from the Caribbean and coming from a friendly country, is that I feel that same energy here.
“Based on what we have seen over the last few days, I think there is a lot of excitement for the Games. We are in the final stages of preparation and going through our qualification phases. We are looking forward to being here for the Games.”
CGF CEO, Katie Sadleir, said: “It has been wonderful to have so many of our Commonwealth Games Associations in Birmingham this week. After such a difficult period that has prevented us from travelling and being together, the Open Days this week have made the 2022 Commonwealth Games feel that bit closer. I know all of the CGAs have been impressed with preparations for Birmingham 2022 and alongside our 72 nations and territories, we will deliver an event that will showcase the very best of the city, the country, and the Commonwealth.”
Ashwin Lokare, Head of Games Family Services for Birmingham 2022, said: “It has been an absolute pleasure to be able to welcome delegates to Birmingham this week and we have been delighted to bring representatives from so many teams together, so that we can brief them on our preparations for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
“Although we have been sharing information, photos and videos regularly through our virtual regional meetings it is important for these delegates to be able to see our key facilities for themselves, meet key staff members and I hope that this visit will have provided essential information for all the teams, to assist them with their final preparations for the Games.
“We look forward to welcoming all of the nations and territories back to Birmingham in July.”