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100 Days to Go!

100 Days to Go!

We’re delighted to be celebrating a key Games milestone as we countdown to a spectacular summer of sport and culture across the region.

It feels like a lifetime ago since December 2017, when Birmingham was awarded the right to host the 2022 Games – the 22nd edition of the Commonwealth Games (CWG) since 1930. Almost 1,600 days have passed since then and the world we live in has changed considerably. Following recent events, we need to come together now more than ever, and we couldn’t be prouder to be playing our part in uniting millions of people from across the Commonwealth.

Planning, organising, and delivering such a mega sports event – the third largest in the world after the Olympic and Paralympic Games – is no mean feat. This is especially true when you consider that Birmingham has had only four years to prepare for the Games, rather than the usual seven.

It is a testament to everyone at the University, as well as the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), Birmingham 2022 Organising Committee (B2022) and all wider Games Stakeholders, that we’ll be welcoming some of the world’s greatest athletes to campus in just 14 weeks’ time.

Changing the game

You’ll have seen the fantastic launch of the Birmingham 2022 Festival last month, a six-month cultural programme packed full of incredible performances from regional, national, and international artists and communities. This is a fantastic opportunity to put Birmingham on the map as a city of culture and creativity, and we’re pleased to be supporting this through a series of University Music events and concerts.

Lanscape shot of the Bramall MUsic Building foyer. Chairs in foreground with music exhibition wall in the background, featuring colourful posters and prints.
Ceremony: Pop Comes to Campus’ exhibition in the Bramall as part of the Birmingham 2022 Festival.

We’ve also been delighted to support the launch of the B2022 Get Set for the Games campaign, a new online hub designed to provide local residents and businesses with the information and support they need to plan and prepare for a busy and exciting summer ahead.

Our venue and village preparations for the Games are intensifying, and we’re working hard to minimise the impact the Games will have across campus and maintain business as usual. You can find out more via our dedicated Get Set for the Games webpage.

If this wasn’t exciting enough, we also had the honour of welcoming the leaders of the Commonwealth’s national sports teams to campus. On 28 March, Birmingham 2022 Chef De Missions joined us at Edgbaston Park Hotel to see first-hand where their teams and athletes will be living and competing during the Games.

As well as being a great opportunity for the University to strengthen its Commonwealth connections, the event allowed us to showcase the new village model for the Games, which is a first for any Games and set to be a blueprint for future Olympic and Commonwealth Games.

Chef de Missions sat in rows to watch presentation.
Almost 60 of the 72 Commonwealth nations and territories toured campus for the first time.

On your marks, get set, go!

Elsewhere on campus, interest continues to grow for our CWG work and volunteering opportunities amongst our staff and students. Over 300 students have already been recruited to support our Games-time operations, with more to come thanks to the University’s student recruitment agency, Worklink.

What’s more, following a series of Games menu tastings, our in-house food and drink team, Food Fellows, have been working hard to put the finishing touches to their Games-time food and drink offer. They’ll be responsible for fuelling thousands of athletes, officials and spectators, plus the Games’ workforce, this summer.

Bowls of colourful food for a menu tasting.
Earlier this year, Food Fellows cooked up a storm for the B2022 Athletes’ Advisory Committee, Games Family, and representatives from the Games’ workforce to ensure our menus enable everyone to deliver a world-class performance this summer.

Meanwhile, our Estates, Accommodation and UB Sport teams have been busy finalising plans ahead of the arrival of Games overlay contractors across campus, who will begin their pre-works next month in preparation for when the B2022 exclusive use period commences from mid-July.

This will see the construction of temporary seating, floodlights, fencing, and wider Games overlay at our Athletes’ Village at the Vale, as well as our competition venues at Sport & Fitness.

We’re pleased to share that our state-of-the-art sports and fitness facilities will be known as the University of Birmingham Hockey and Squash Centre at Games time, where some of the world’s best men’s and women’s hockey and squash teams will compete for gold.

Aerial view of the University's hockey pitches.
Our FIH-standard hockey pitches.

In addition, our CWG capital works programme has continued with the recent demolition of our old sports pavilion and the construction of a new laundry and social space at the Vale Village.

Construction on the site of our old sports pavilion. Cleared space with room for B2022 activities.
Our old sports pavilion space will support the B2022 back of house requirements for hockey come Games time.

This will provide the extra capacity the Village needs to accommodate the Games’ athletes, as well as their accessibility requirements, and will be a great legacy facility for University of Birmingham students when the Village reverts back to student accommodation after the Games.

Construction work in front of accommodation buildings.
Work progressing on the Athletes’ Village new laundry and social space.

The clock is ticking and there is still a huge amount of work to be completed. Delivering our commitments for the Games is a monumental team effort across the University, and it’s been fantastic to witness the excitement for this mega event build across campus, the region, and the wider Commonwealth, as well as see people from all walks of life be inspired to play their part in this once-in-a-generation opportunity.

Tom Clift

Tom Clift

View all posts by Tom Clift

Tom manages the delivery of a number of strategic partnership projects, particularly across the areas of sport and major events. At present he is working hard to deliver the University’s involvement in the Commonwealth Games.

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