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Sites sought for Commonwealth Games camps

By Mark Andrews | Birmingham | News | Published:

Organisers of the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham say other areas across the West Midlands could benefit as the search for training-camp sites begins.

SANDWELL COPYRIGHT EXPRESS&STAR TIM THURSFIELD-20/07/20.Fresh pics showing how the new stat-of-the-art aquatics centre in Smethwick is progressing. The new centre should hopefully be ready for the Commonwealth Games in 2022...

Some of the 71 nations and territories taking part in the Games are looking to set up camps to prepare for the event which will be held in two years' time.

It will be the largest sporting event to have been held in the West Midlands.

Bosses say hosting national teams could not only provide an economic boost, but also raise the profile of the venues and inspire young people from local clubs watching the training sessions.

Chairman of Birmingham 2022, John Crabtree, said: “We have frequently said that the whole region and even the whole country will benefit from Birmingham 2022 and pre-Games training camps are a really great example of how that’s possible.

“We are expecting 6,500 athletes and officials to come to Birmingham and the region to compete in the Games and many of those teams, especially from the larger Commonwealth nations, will be looking to arrive early, acclimatise and fine tune their preparations, before moving into the official Games time accommodation.”

Sports minister Nigel Huddleston said it was an exciting opportunities for communities to play their part in Birmingham 2022.

"From fostering relationships with other Commonwealth nations to building the profile of local venues and facilities, there are significant benefits from hosting pre-Games training camps," he said.

"I would encourage anywhere with the right facilities to express their interest."

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Birmingham itself has previously hosted pre-games training camps, with the USA track and field team using the Alexander Stadium and the Jamaican Athletics Association previously choosing Birmingham University prior to both the London 2012 Olympic Games and the London 2017 World Athletics Championships.

Work has already begun on the £73 million Sandwell Aquatics Centre in Smethwick, which is due to be completed by Spring 2022.

The building will include a 50m Olympic-sized swimming pool, as well as a 25m pool for diving. There will also be a community pool and seats for up to 1,000 spectators.

Any local authority, facility manager or sports club interested in hosting pre-games training camps for whole delegations or single sports teams can email: B2022trainingcamps@dcms.gov.uk

Mark Andrews

By Mark Andrews
@MAndrews_Star

Senior news writer for the Shropshire Star specialising in in-depth features and commentary, investigative reporting and political matters.

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