Express & Star

Council set to continue Games legacy across borough

While the future of the Commonwealth Games is uncertain, people across Sandwell are continuing to be inspired by a legacy plan from the 2022 Games.

The pool at the Aquatics Centre, which is the only Olympic-sized pool in the region

The region played a big part in the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, with the purpose-built Sandwell Aquatics Centre being a proud host venue for swimming, para swimming and diving competitions.

The future plans of the Commonwealth Games may be in doubt, after the hosts for the planned 2026 and 2030 games pulled out, but Sandwell Council has vowed to keep the legacy of the 2022 Games alive through a new plan.

In July, the council approved a Commonwealth Games Legacy Plan to make sure the benefits of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity last for decades to come, helping to boost health, inspire local people and support growth.

Building on the success of Birmingham 2022, and with the world-class Sandwell Aquatics Centre being the only newly-built venue of the Games, the council is determined to capitalise on the momentum that hosting the Games has started.

The Sandwell Aquatics Centre in Smethwick is the centre point of the Commonwealth Legacy for the region

The key aims of the Legacy Plan are to improve health, wellbeing and physical activity, inspire community engagement and collaboration and support growth in economy, place and reputation.

Teams from across the council will jointly deliver the Legacy Plan, working closely with key partner organisations including Sandwell Leisure Trust, Swim England, Swim England West Midlands, Sandwell Council of Voluntary Organisations (SCVO), Sandwell Aquatics Club and Wolverhampton University.

The plan has been in development since 2019, alongside the construction of Sandwell Aquatics Centre and the hosting of the Games last summer, as the council did not want the benefits to stop when the Games ended.

Leader of Sandwell Council, Councillor Kerrie Carmichael, said: “As a proud host venue for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, Sandwell Council is committed to ensuring that the Games leave a lasting legacy for our community.

The fitness suite at the Sandwell Aquatics Centre, which includes weights and cardiovascular equipment

"This Legacy Plan outlines the steps we will take to maximise the benefits of the Games for our residents and ensure that the positive impacts are felt for years to come.

“The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games provided an unparalleled opportunity to showcase Sandwell to the world and be a catalyst for economic development, and to inspire our residents to get involved in sport and physical activity.

"We will work closely with local stakeholders, community groups, and schools to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to benefit from the Games.”

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