As 2019 draws to a close, it’s the perfect chance for us to reflect on our work this year and look forward to an exciting 2020.
We’ve made a fantastic amount of progress over the last 12 months and I’m proud of what the Birmingham 2022 team and the Games partnership has achieved.
We’ve been building our team all year and it was great to get our board members and executive management team finalised early in 2019, before embarking on a rapid recruitment of staff for each area of the organisation. We’ve got another eight new starters joining us early in the New Year so we’re looking forward to welcoming them to the team.
Major moments this year have included the start of construction on the athletes’ village, announcing our budget and the investment in the city and region, finalising our sports programme (with the addition of women’s cricket, para table tennis and beach volleyball) and updating our list of venues, making sure we have the right sports in the right place.
We’ve been continually speaking to local businesses throughout the year, introducing them to the opportunities that the Games is bringing and explaining how they can get involved and we’ve been regularly talking to people from across the region, through our Common Ground project and more specific conversations, focusing on topics like our Draft Games Strategic Transport Plan.
As part of our three years to go celebrations we unveiled our brand and logo to the world and we also launched our new website and our first advertising campaign, featuring local people from across the West Midlands region.
Our first official sponsor was announced at the end of the summer and it’s great to have Gowling WLG working with us. We’ll be making more announcements in 2020, as we bring new partners on board.
In September we were delighted to meet with and talk to representatives from many of the Commonwealth Games Associations (CGAs), at the Commonwealth Games Federation’s General Assembly in Rwanda, and it’s been great to welcome some of the CGAs to our new headquarters in Birmingham.
We were also pleased to confirm the members of our Athletes’ Advisory Committee, a group of passionate athletes who we’ll be working closely with over the next few years, ensuring that we keep the needs of athletes and teams front of mind throughout our planning and delivery of the Games. We are also delighted that both our accessibility and sustainability forums are now up and running and we’re looking forward to working with these groups over the next few years.
We finished the year with a visit from the Commonwealth Games Federation’s Co-ordination Commission and were thrilled with their positive assessment of our progress and delighted that they highlighted the strong partnership that all the Games partners have forged.
We know that 2020 will be another busy year and we are already looking forward to seeing the start of major construction at the Sandwell Aquatics Centre, finalising our portfolio of competition and training venues, completing our venue operational planning and agreeing the detail of the sports programme.
We’ll also be revealing more about our culture programme and Queen’s Baton Relay as we now have staff dedicated to this celebration of the Games and we can’t wait to share our exciting plans on this and many other important areas.
A new Director of Legacy for the Birmingham 2022 partnership will be confirmed early in 2020 and we’ll be adding new members to our Legacy and Benefits Committee. This group will be leading the work on ensuring that Birmingham and the West Midlands benefits as much as possible from this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
A big thank you to everyone that’s been working with us in 2019 and we look forward to strengthening partnerships in 2020, as we continue our mission to organise the best possible Games.
Season’s greetings and here’s to a happy and healthy 2020.
Ian Reid is the Chief Executive Officer for Birmingham 2022.