Leaders celebrate Commonwealth Games being one year away

It's one year today until some of the greatest sporting stars on the planet will arrive in the West Midlands to mark the start of the Commonwealth Games.

Jaime Downing and Oliver Ward from Wolverhampton Wheelers Cycling Club with Hugh Porter MBE and council leader Ian Brookfield
Jaime Downing and Oliver Ward from Wolverhampton Wheelers Cycling Club with Hugh Porter MBE and council leader Ian Brookfield

And it won't just be Birmingham hitting the headlines next year – with sporting events also being held in Sandwell, Wolverhampton and Cannock Chase.

Wolverhampton's West Park will host the cycling time trial event, with Sandwell's Aquatics Centre in Smethwick hosting diving and swimming events.

And Cannock Chase's forest will be the setting for the mountain biking event, with other events held in popular venues across Birmingham from July 28.

Front: Jaime Downing, aged 10 and Oliver Ward, aged 13, from Wolverhampton Wheelers Cycling Club; Back: Hugh Porter MBE and Councillor Ian Brookfield

Councillor Ian Brookfield, leader of Wolverhampton Council, said: "Wolverhampton is really getting into gear ahead of next year’s Commonwealth Games.

"We’re excited to be hosting the cycling time trial at the games which is an example of the world-class events we’re committed to bringing to the city.

"I look forward to seeing people from Wolverhampton and across the country in West Park and lining the streets as we show off our fantastic city on a global stage."

Councillor Rajbir Singh and Councillor Maria Crompton celebrate one year until the start of the Birmingham Commonwealth Games

Councillor Maria Crompton, Sandwell Council’s cabinet member for strong and resilient communities, said: "Today marks one year until the start of the Games and we are very excited to be part of a major sporting event here in Sandwell.

"The new Sandwell Aquatics Centre, in Smethwick, will be hosting the swimming and para-swimming competition from July 29 to August 3, 2022 and the diving competition from August 4 to August 8, 2022, meaning that the centre will be in use for all 11 days of competition.

“We have seen with the Tokyo Olympics how exciting these sports are, and with the West Midlands ticket ballot closing on Friday, I’d encourage as many local residents as possible to apply for tickets now so that they don’t miss out. The Games will bring an international spotlight to Sandwell and the West Midlands region and we are proud to be playing our part in a major event which will showcase the stars of Commonwealth sport.

“After the Games the facility will be repurposed to become a fantastic leisure centre that local people can use every single day.

“This project has also helped to create jobs for local people, local apprentices have been working on the centre and local businesses have also benefitted as part of the supply chain, providing materials used in the construction of the facility.”

Johnathan Price (Staffordshire County Council), Laura Howard (Forestry England), Doug Smith (Cannock Chase District Council), Laura Freer (Forestry England), Adrienne Fitzgerald (Cannock Chase District Council) and Colin Walker (British Cycling) all pictured at Cannock Chase one year ahead of the games taking place. Picture by Shaun Fellows / Shine Pix Ltd

A spokesman for Cannock Chase District Council said: "We are delighted to mark '1 Year To Go' to the start of the Commonwealth Games. The timing couldn’t be better for the mountain biking venue, with Tom Pidcock winning the gold medal in the cross county mountain biking in Tokyo and achieving GB’s first ever Olympics medal in the sport.

“On TV it looked a fabulous event and we all hope we can replicate that in August 2022 when the District hosts mountain bikers from across the commonwealth in both the men’s and women’s events on August 3. The message now is for local people to enter the West Midlands Ticket ballot ending on 30 July to be in with a chance of being there in person to watch elite mountain bikers in action. You won’t be disappointed."

People living in the West Midlands can apply for tickets in the ballot now by visiting tickets.birmingham2022.com

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