The University of Birmingham has been unveiled as an official partner for Birmingham 2022, signing the most comprehensive university partnership agreement in the history of the Commonwealth Games.
The University will be a competition venue for both hockey and squash, the principal campus village during the Games (as announced last month) and a major partner – demonstrating the University’s engagement with and commitment to the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
The agreement also confirms the University as an Official Partner of the Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay – International Leg, offering international promotional opportunities as the ceremonial baton travels through Commonwealth nations and territories in the run up to the Games.
Birmingham 2022 will also work closely with the University of Birmingham to offer volunteering opportunities for staff and students on campus, providing them with valuable experience of working at a major sports event and guaranteeing that the teams staying there have the support of volunteers who are extremely knowledgeable about the university site.
The Games, which is expected to have a global TV audience of 1.5 billion, attract more than one million spectators and welcome competitors from 72 nations and territories, will also provide an important platform for the University of Birmingham to promote its impressive teaching and research capabilities.
University of Birmingham Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir David Eastwood said: “Our place as both a civic University and as a global institution makes us well placed to partner with the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and we are looking forward to playing our part in this success story for our region.
“Our partnership with the Birmingham 2022 Games is the most comprehensive university partnership in the history of the Commonwealth Games. Through this partnership we are delighted to be able to share our outstanding sports facilities and accommodation with athletes from across the globe as well as providing opportunities for our staff and students to engage with the Games through their research, through volunteering, and through participation.
“As a University we have a long and proud history of sporting success with staff, students and alumni competing at an international level and I wish the very best of luck to the Commonwealth Games hopefuls in our community.”
Ian Reid, Chief Executive of Birmingham 2022, visited the University of Birmingham campus on Wednesday (23 September) to support the partnership announcement.
Reid said: “We are absolutely thrilled that the University of Birmingham has decided to take their involvement with the Games to the next level.
“Obviously we’ve already been working very closely with the University, as we’re taking advantage of its world-class sporting facilities to stage two of our sports and its fantastic accommodation to use as our main campus village.
“By becoming an Official Partner, the University of Birmingham has truly underlined their considerable support for the Games.”
The University of Birmingham has a strong track record in sport science research, offering the UK’s first Sport Science degree course in 1946. The University also already has strong links with the Commonwealth Games, with six students and 18 alumni taking part in the Gold Coast edition of the Games in 2018. Other alumni who have previously competed at the Commonwealth Games are husband and wife duo, Hannah England and Luke Gunn. Both competed in the athletics competitions in Delhi in 2010 and Glasgow in 2014 and Luke also took part in the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.
The University of Birmingham is the fifth official partner for Birmingham 2022, joining Official Legal Advisers, Gowling WLG; Official Timekeeper, Longines; Official Recruiter, GI Group and Host Broadcaster, Sunset+Vine, in supporting the biggest event ever to be held in the West Midlands.