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Bringing the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games to Campus

This time next year, the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games (B2022) will be just a matter of weeks away. As an official partner of the Games, everyone at the University couldn’t be more excited for the Opening Ceremony on the 28th July 2022.

Not only are we hosting the largest Games Village, but we’re also the official venue for the hockey and squash competitions, the official presenting partner of the Queen’s Baton Relay, and the Games’ official global university. We’ll even be holding team welcome ceremonies and see competitors awarded bronze, silver and gold medals here on campus.

Our B2022 partnership is one of the most comprehensive agreements between a university and the Commonwealth Games in the history of the event, making us even prouder to play an important part in bringing this once-in-a-generation event for Birmingham and the West Midlands to life. The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games will present a unique opportunity to showcase the very best of our region, as well as the impressive teaching and research capabilities the University of Birmingham has to offer.

With excellent venues and experienced experts to match, we’re perfectly placed to host this prestigious sports event on campus. But what exactly does it take to support the delivery of an event that’s expected to have a global audience of 1.5 billion, attract more than 1 million spectators, and welcome competitors from 72 nations and territories?

 

Quality accommodation

Everyone knows that a great night’s sleep is crucial to performing at your best. That’s why, when searching for the best place to accommodate world-class athletes, the Vale Village offers a fantastic option.

Nestled in lush green parkland, this leafy lakeside site will provide a peaceful retreat from the roar of the stadiums, ensuring that all athletes get the rest they need to be at the top of their game. With an on-site food hall, shops and dedicated medical and gym facilities especially for the Games, the Vale Village offers a place to unwind and refocus after a long day of competing, making it a prime location for an Athletes’ Village.

Two women running in the Vale's parkland,

Accommodation will also be available for the Games’ technical officials at Bournbrook, and we are currently exploring plans to accommodate other vital support staff in this convenient location. Home to the University’s Sports Pavilion, Bournbrook has everything on its doorstep, including the pitches that will host hockey during the Games, so that officials, coaches and support staff are never far from the action.

 

World-class facilities

Home to Birmingham’s only 50m swimming pool, an international-standard 400m track, and a multi-purpose arena and sports hall, it’s no wonder that Sport & Fitness is attractive as an official Games venue. Opened in 2018, the venue’s state-of-the-art facilities make the University a key destination for elite athletes. The site’s glass-backed squash courts and FIH-standard new hockey pitches will see the world’s best hockey and squash teams battle it out to be crowned Birmingham 2022 champions.

Close up of teams playing hockey, a key B2022 Commonwealth Games sport.

As well as excellent indoor venues, we also offer versatile outdoor space. Boasting 12 acres of rolling lawns and enough space for up to 10,000 people, the Green Heart will play an important role in helping the University to engage staff, students and external partners in the community with the Games, and celebrate its impact on the region.

Hundreds of people sat outside at the Green Heart for an event. The Green Heart will be a key venue to engage people with the B2022 Commonwealth Games.

 

Sustainability specialists

The Commonwealth Games’ organisers have pledged that Birmingham 2022 will be the greenest, most environmentally-friendly Games ever. As part of this pledge, next year’s Games is set to be the first carbon-neutral Commonwealth Games. There will also be a focus on minimising waste and reducing the Games’ impact on the planet. Luckily, the University is in an advantageous position to support such a mission.

Here at Conferences & events, we care about delivering events with a positive impact. That’s why you won’t find any unsustainable plastic at our events. Food is wrapped in recyclable packaging, our catering is served on crockery or in biodegradable containers, and we turn any leftovers into energy via our anaerobic digestion system.

We’re also passionate about our visitors travelling to, from and around campus with as little environmental impact as possible. That’s why our campus has the infrastructure in place to support multiple modes of green, zero-emission travel, including cycling and e-scootering. Our dedicated train station, University, also plays a key role in promoting sustainable travel, which is a major focus for Birmingham 2022.

Sustainable travel for B2022 - University train station exterior

What’s more, we’re currently in the process of gaining ISO 20121 accreditation, a voluntary international standard for sustainable event management. Having this under our belt will allow us to control the social, economic and environmental impacts of our event activities, and help us to further do our bit to support the B2022 Commonwealth Games’ sustainability pledge.

 

A campus full of culture

The Commonwealth Games is about more than just sport. It’s about bringing communities together from across the Commonwealth and celebrating the culture, art and creativity that brings us together. As one of the UK’s most vibrant cities, Birmingham was an obvious host city for the event’s sporting competitions and cultural programme. We’re delighted to be playing our part in supporting the Games’ culture-based activities, which will run from March to September 2022.

The University is home to a range of unique cultural and heritage attractions, such as the Lapworth Museum of Geology, Barber Institute of Fine Arts and Winterbourne House and Garden. If you’re not one for history, art, or relaxing in Grade II listed botanical gardens, you can explore rare books, photographs and manuscripts in our Cadbury Research Library. Alternatively, you could spend an afternoon discovering the University’s unique Research and Cultural Collections.

Dinosaur skeleton at Lapworth Museum of Geology

You can find a variety of culture trails on campus too. You can explore the University’s impressive sculpture collection with the Sculpture Trail or follow in the footsteps of Birmingham’s most brilliant people on the Blue Plaque Trail.

Showcasing not only some of the world’s finest art and artefacts but also the history of Birmingham and its people, the University’s attractions will welcome thousands of visitors throughout the Commonwealth Games and beyond.

 

Bringing the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games to campus will be a University-wide effort. We will be collaborating with teams from across Professional Services, including Estates, Security, Transport and Accommodation, to make B2022 the most unforgettable Games to date.

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