It is 2022, the year of Birmingham 2022. The year our vibrant city will come alive in a celebration of sport and culture. A year where our region will surprise the world, culminating in 11 unforgettable days of world-class sport.
Birmingham is home to people with roots in more than 180 countries which helps make the West Midlands such a welcoming place. Coming together after challenging times will showcase the unity and resilience of our neighbourhoods and communities and the rich diversity that makes our people proud to be Brummies. This summer, as thousands of volunteers welcome our visitors, they too will experience the warm and friendly spirit of the people who call Birmingham and the West Midlands their home.
And there is more we can be proud of. Birmingham 2022 is setting new benchmarks for future global events. For the first time more medals will be awarded to women than men, new sports will be introduced such as Basketball 3X3 and Women’s Cricket T20, and there will be the largest fully integrated para-sport programme in Commonwealth Games history. We want to strengthen connections between communities across the region, bringing people together in our festivals, celebrations, and as part of the Commonwealth Collective – our volunteering programme. We hope that residents from across the region in our many distinct communities, will get to know their neighbours, embrace difference and enjoy their similarities.
There are so many aspects of the Games to look forward to and the buzz is already building around the region. The Opening Ceremony, transforming the old wholesale market site at Smithfield into a vibrant and lively venue for Beach Volleyball, West Park in Wolverhampton hosting the Cycling Time Trials, Coventry showcasing the best of Wrestling, Judo, and Rugby 7s, Lawn and Para Lawn Bowls in Victoria Park, Leamington Spa, and Cannock Chase in Staffordshire, the perfect setting for the off-road Mountain Bike competition.
Beyond the sporting events, there is even more excitement with the Birmingham 2022 Festival, our cultural programme, beginning in March, designed to entertain and engage whilst inspiring lasting change. One element of the festival is the ‘Creative Cities’ project, in partnership with Birmingham City Council, which will provide Community Groups within the city the chance to work with artists to create artistic projects.
The Games is also a golden opportunity to fast-track improvements for this generation and the next. We must look back and see that people’s lives have been truly changed for the better. With our partners, we’re running legacy programmes for local residents and businesses that can keep the benefits flowing for years to come; such as the Jobs and Skills Academy, Generation2022, United By Birmingham 2022, Bring the Power (our Youth Programme) and more. These initiatives are transformational for people who live in the region and will change lives for years to come.
We need your help to share the opportunities of the Games with your communities and make the impact last beyond the summer. Please encourage everyone you know to follow us on social media, to go to our website and to sign up to our newsletters – there is a great deal of information about how to get involved and the opportunities available.
2022 is Birmingham’s year, a chance to demonstrate our history and our rich array of cultures. It will give individuals, communities, and businesses the opportunity to flourish. The Games will help us to recharge, rise, grow, and succeed, leaving a long-lasting legacy. We cannot wait to welcome the world and bring people together for Birmingham 2022, the Games for Everyone.