Five talented young Midlands athletes from a range of sports gathered in Birmingham yesterday to reveal why they are backing Birmingham’s 2022 Commonwealth Games bid.
The athletes also took the opportunity to celebrate Birmingham’s achievement in being shortlisted for the final phase of assessment in the UK Candidate City Selection Process for a potential 2022 Commonwealth Games bid.
Showcasing the youth, diversity and inclusion of Birmingham’s 2022 bid, the five athletes took part in a photocall at some of central Birmingham’s iconic landmarks, including the Council House in Victoria Square; the award winning Library of Birmingham in Centenary Square; and the Barclaycard Arena and canalside areas of Brindley Place.
The five athletes were:
All five were thrilled about Birmingham’s potential to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games and encourage the whole region and sporting community to get behind Birmingham: heart of the UK, soul of the Commonwealth.
Kare Adenegan said: “Having just competed and won medals at the World Para Athletics Championships in London, I have seen first-hand the passion this country has for all sport, including para-athletics. I know that Birmingham 2022 would surpass this level of support for all athletes across all sports.
“With its plans to upgrade Alexander Stadium as part of its bid, Birmingham 2022 will also leave a powerful legacy, becoming the home of athletics, and inspiring more young people, including those with disabilities, to realise that sport is for them.”
Mimi-Isabella Cesar said: “Representing England at the Glasgow 2014 Games has been the highlight of my career so far, although I am really looking forward to the Gold Coast next year.
“I was so excited to hear that Birmingham was bidding for the Commonwealth Games and I have been backing Brum right from the start. Competing at a packed Barclaycard Arena at Birmingham 2022 would be a dream come true so please do get behind Brum’s bid.”
Fontaine Chapman said: “When I was asked to join the Birmingham 2022 Bid team I knew that this was about more than a once in a lifetime opportunity for me to compete on the global stage in front of a home crowd.
“We all believe that now is Birmingham’s time to shine. We have the venues, we have the talent and we want the Games here in 2022 because we know the positive impact they will have on our region and we know that we will deliver the best Commonwealth Games ever.
“We are clearly thrilled to have progressed to the next phase of the bidding process and all our energy is now focused on bringing the Games to Birmingham. If you haven’t already then do back Birmingham’s bid and help us to win.”
Elise Glynn said: “As a female boxer at the start of my sporting career I am so excited about the opportunities that lie ahead of me. The Commonwealth Games are all about uniting people, giving all athletes a chance to realise their dreams and promoting equality and I cannot think of a better Host City than Birmingham for delivering that.
“The opportunity to represent my country in front of a home crowd at the NEC during Birmingham 2022 will keep me motivated and training hard and inspiring more youngsters to take up boxing as a sport.”
Galal Yafai said: “I would love to see Birmingham host the 2022 Commonwealth Games, even though I will be fighting professionally by then.
“I am a proud Brummie and me and my brothers have had lots of support from the city over the years. By encouraging everyone to get behind the Birmingham bid I am hoping that together we can bring the Games to Birmingham and inspire more youngsters to take up sport and change a lot of lives for the better.”
As part of Department for Digital, Media, Culture and Sport’s announcement that both Birmingham and Liverpool had progressed to the next phase of the UK’s 2022 Commonwealth Games Bid process, Sports Minister Tracey Crouch said:
“It is right that a proper and rigorous assessment is carried out before we decide if a formal bid for the 2022 Commonwealth Games is submitted. I’ve been encouraged by the commitment and enthusiasm that both Birmingham and Liverpool have demonstrated so far in the process but it will be crucial that their final plans demonstrate good value for money, how they would leave a lasting legacy and showcase the best of Britain.
“We have a great track record of hosting the biggest events in sport in the UK and I am sure that if we were to host the Games in 2022 the British people would give a warm welcome to the world and get right behind the event.”
Commonwealth Games England chief executive Paul Blanchard said: “An English Commonwealth Games in 2022 would be an inspirational event and create a lasting legacy for the whole country. Five years ago this week, the country was gripped by London 2012, the best Olympic and Paralympic Games ever staged. Then in 2014 the UK hosted the memorable Commonwealth Games in Glasgow showing beyond doubt what a spectacular success an English Games would be.
“Birmingham and Liverpool have two fantastic sets of plans and either city would stage a Games to remember for athletes and spectators alike. There is still a huge amount of work to be done by both Government and the cities themselves but what we have seen so far promises some very exciting times ahead.
“Earlier this week Team England topped the medal table at the Youth Commonwealth Games, a home Games in 2022 would give the best possible platform to our outstanding young sporting talent.”
How you can support Birmingham 2022:
For further information about the Birmingham 2022 bid please contact:
Four Communications (PR agency)
Birmingham City Council
Head of Public Affairs
0121 303 4777 / 07825 979046
0121 303 3287
Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport
020 7211 6971 / 07825 057405