Birmingham Commonwealth Games to have most ever female sports
Women’s Twenty20 cricket, beach volleyball and para table tennis have been added to the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, giving the event the largest ever female programme.
The 71 Commonwealth Games Associations voted in favour of adding the three sports for the competition, which will also become the first major multi-sport event to feature more women’s medal events than men’s.
There will be 135 medals available for women and 133 for men.
Women’s T20 Cricket will be staged at Edgbaston, where eight teams will compete for gold.
The addition of table tennis takes the number of para sports to eight – a Commonwealth Games record – while beach volleyball is back after debuting in the Gold Coast last year.
Commonwealth Games Federation president Dame Louise Martin said: “Today is an historic day for the Commonwealth Games and I am delighted that we can now confirm that Birmingham 2022 is set to have the largest ever female and para-sport programme in history.
“I would like to congratulate and formally welcome women’s T20 cricket, beach volleyball and para table tennis to the official sports programme for Birmingham 2022 and I know they will all help enhance what will be a spectacular and vibrant multi-sport event.
“I would also like to thank our Commonwealth Games Associations for recognising the benefit that these three exciting sports will add to Birmingham 2022 and voting to include them to the sports programme.
“We are passionate advocates of women’s sport and para-sport so I am thrilled we are able to make this special announcement today.”
Chief executive of Birmingham 2022 Ian Reid said: “I am delighted that our proposal to add women’s cricket, beach volleyball and para table tennis to our sports programme has been endorsed by the CGF’s executive board and now by Commonwealth Games Associations from across the globe.
“We proposed these sports after carrying out a thorough and robust review with some of our partners and it was clear to the review panel that these sports will help us to reach new audiences, ensuring that we seize this fantastic opportunity to raise the profile of the Games, the West Midlands region and the people that live here.”
The Games will bring tens of thousands of competitors and spectators from across the world to the West Midlands.
Preparations include a £70 million redevelopment of Alexander Stadium, which will increase its capacity from 12,700 to 40,000 for the duration of the Commonwealth Games.
The plan is set to go before Birmingham Council’s council’s planning committee in the autumn. It will see the construction of a new 15,000 seater west stand at the venue in Walsall Road, Perry Barr, with additional seating also planned for the north and south stands.
Planning permission for a £62 million state-of-the-art facility at Londonderry Playing Fields, in Smethwick, was also given the green light earlier this year.Work to clear and prepare the site has started, with building work set to begin later this year. The preparatory work includes the removal of the children’s play equipment, demolition of the existing football changing rooms and work on the electricity and water supplies to the site.