An open letter from Ian Reid, CEO Birmingham 2022
Racism, discrimination, and intolerance of any kind is abhorrent. It has no place in society, or the Commonwealth Games.
I recognise that the gift of hosting the Commonwealth Games provides a unique opportunity for the city, region, and country to come together and celebrate not only sport and culture, but our common humanity, desire for collective progress, and shared values. My whole team fully support this vision.
We have always been committed to delivering a ‘Games for Everyone’ and will continue to do so. Our common purpose is to bring people together and have our region shine on the global stage, in all its rich diversity.
I recognise that we have work to do. We’ve spent time listening and learning from honest and important conversations with community leaders. We’ve been hearing about people’s concerns as well as their ambitions for Birmingham 2022. I will ensure we act on these conversations, continue this positive community dialogue and engagement, and we will be accountable for delivering progress.
I’m aware of the responsibility that myself and my team carry to get this right, and we’ve been developing an initial roadmap to move forward positively, with intent, where we will:
- Review our organisational structure and decision-making governance to ensure it is more reflective of the people in our region
- Ensure through our recruitment process that our wider team, which will grow ten-fold over the next two years, represents and reflects the world we live in
- Bring on board new talent at all levels of the Management Team and deliver initiatives that promote the available jobs and commercial benefits that the Games brings to the region
- Further grow and implement the plans developed by our internal Equality, Diversity and Inclusion group and deliver an organisation-wide action plan
- Continue to work with people and partners around the city and region to implement an inclusive community engagement plan
- Mobilise our cultural, and learning programmes to nurture conversations about the benefits of the Games, as well as the modern ideals and ambitions of the Commonwealth
- Develop a broad pipeline of talent, ensuring that the legacy of these Games is improved prospects, new skills and increased opportunities for the next generation. We are developing an initiative that will mean that in generations to come, and for future major sporting events, there is a deep talent pool, made up of people who grasped new opportunities, and took their chance because of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games
- Support the Commonwealth Sport Movement in openly addressing the legacy of colonialism and our shared history
With two years to go to the start of the Games, we have a unique opportunity to forge even stronger relationships, connect more with the wider people across the West Midlands and break down barriers to ensure this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity is seized by all.
The Commonwealth Games is about bringing people together. Birmingham and the West Midlands will host 72 member states that represent 2.4 billion people from around the modern Commonwealth. Sport, cultural exchange, and business development are powerful transformative tools that can help drive action, build relationships, increase understanding, and aid community cohesion.
This region has been shaped by people from across the globe, people who have enriched it and made it their home. Our Games will enable the sharing of cultures, experiences and untold stories, bringing people together through the power of sport and culture, in a region that will guarantee the warmest of welcomes.
The true measure of our impact will be the progress we make over the next two years. These Games will be a catalyst for sustained change, and I will ensure that we deliver for the city, region, and its people.
Ian Reid, CEO Birmingham 2022
“This message from our CEO represents the clear intention of our organisation. Its sentiment and the roadmap which builds on the important work outlined in our Social Values Charter published last year underpins how we move forward together. We will continue with purpose, and with ambition to seek out how the Games plays its part in helping to knit our communities together. Birmingham 2022 will change this City and region for the lasting good, and will leave a legacy that benefits the people of the region for generations to come. We are grateful for the continued support and will pay back the belief shown in us by delivering a Games for everyone that is full of opportunity, hope, and optimism.”
John Crabtree, Chair of the Birmingham 2022 Board