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New arena could be built in Walsall for Commonwealth Games judo

By Alex Ross | Walsall | News | Published:

A Black Country town could host judo at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games, it was revealed today.

Judo at the University of Wolverhampton's campus in Walsall

Talks are underway about creating an arena for between 3,000 and 5,000 spectators in Walsall and opening it in time for the Games in 2022.

It would be at the University of Wolverhampton's Walsall Campus, off Gorway Road, where the British Judo Centre of Excellence is based.

Discussions are taking place between the UK governing body for judo, the university and the Games organisers.

Black Country Active director Ian Carey is also part of the talks.

He told the Express & Star: "The idea is at a relatively early stage, but we have an ambition for the sport to come to Walsall as part of the games.

"There is also a plan for a medium-sized area at the campus.

"The ambition is can the two ideas align? Can the Games help move forward the facility proposal?"

Last month the All England Judo Federation National Invitation Championships took place at Walsall. It followed the International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) European Judo Championships last year.

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The dojo, where judo is competed, is at a sports hall at the campus, next to the student union.

Another sport coming to the Black Country as part of the Commonwealth Games is swimming and diving, which will be at a newly built aquatic centre in Smethwick.

Beach volleyball and archery are yet to be included on a list of events for the games – but in anticipation, talks are underway in the Black Country over if they could be held in the region.

At the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, beach volleyball was held at the Horse Guards Parade, while archery was at Lords cricket ground.

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Volleyball would need space for temporary stands holding 2 to 4,000 people and three courts. While archery would need an open space the size of a football field.

Mr Carey said: "We've been thinking about locations in the Black Country for the sports and have six or seven in mind for each."

He added: "It is an incredibly exciting time for us, there is the opportunity for us to host sports as part of a major event, driving forward employment and inspiring a generation to take part in sports.

"The more we can get in the Black Country from the Games, the better."

Alex Ross

By Alex Ross
Investigations Editor - @alexross_star

Investigations Editor at the Express & Star. Everyone has a story - tell me yours.

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