On 5th June, the University’s athletics track was transformed into the venue for one of the biggest events in the athletics calendar: the Müller British Athletics 10,000m Championships and European Athletics 10,000m Cup 2021.
Ordinarily, these prestigious races are held in London; however, due to COVID-19 restrictions, British and European Athletics had to search for an alternative venue to ensure the safety and wellbeing of their competitors. The event going ahead safely was especially important as this year’s races acted as Trials for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Luckily, the University provided the perfect solution. Home to 55 sports clubs and state-of-the-art fitness facilities, our campus is a key destination for sportspeople at every level.
As one of the most prestigious events in the sporting calendar, the Müller British Athletics 10,000m Championships and European Athletics 10,000m Cup, was attended by elite athletes from all over the world, including the likes of Sir Mo Farah who competed in the 10,000m Cup.
Event officials and coaches were also in attendance, including key figures from Birmingham City Council, the British Athletics Board, and the England Commonwealth Games Federation. Volunteers and event staff also added to the buzz on campus.
To deliver such a huge international event, whilst keeping it COVID secure, required University-wide collaboration; Conferences & events worked closely with UB Sport, Edgbaston Park Hotel, and other Professional Services to help bring this much-anticipated event to Birmingham.
The team worked with UB Sport to find the perfect venue for the event: Sport & Fitness’ international-standard, 400m athletics track. Complete with eight, floodlit lanes, the outdoor track and its surrounding facilities was an obvious place to host one of sport’s most important competitions.
But it wasn’t just the venue that needed to be first-class. The event delivery needed to be too. Luckily, our experienced in-house technical team was on hand to support the event’s AV requirements, whilst our security team ensured that the venue and team’s specialised sporting equipment was secure for a seamless event from start to finish.
Hosting some of the world’s greatest athletes is no easy feat, especially in the middle of a pandemic. Happily, the University’s luxury hotel, Edgbaston Park Hotel, was more than up for the challenge.
Located just a short 10-minute walk from the track, the hotel provided the ideal place for participants to rest, relax and celebrate their event successes, all within a COVID secure environment. To keep everyone safe, the hotel was zoned to offer dedicated isolation spaces and offered complex, staggered food arrangements to adhere to the Government’s social distancing guidelines.
As well as offering the athletes a great night’s sleep, Edgbaston Park Hotel also took care of their nutritional requirements. From protein-packed breakfasts on race day to nutritionally balanced meals, the team specially designed menus to ensure that all competitors would be at the top of their game.
Elsewhere on campus, our food and drink team supplied packed lunches for the event’s 100 volunteers and staff, to help power them through the event’s most exhilarating moments.
An event to remember
The right facilities and support are crucial to event success, as British Athletics can attest:
“[The University of] Birmingham provided [an] excellent environment and, as a result, produced great performances”.
Over the course of the day, spectators enjoyed some of the best performances in athletics to date. In total, three British athletes were automatically selected for the Tokyo Olympics and 64 personal best performances were achieved, along with six national records, six Olympic qualifying standards, nine Commonwealth Games qualifying standards and one European Athletics U23 qualifying standard.
The event wasn’t just a success for the world of international athletics but for the University too. Two of our student-athletes competed, alongside many University alumni, which made the event extra special.
“It was a great experience to be able to compete in a genuinely world-class athletics competition on my home track, surrounded by many of my friends who were also volunteering at the event.” – Charlie Davis, University of Birmingham student-athlete
Such sporting achievement and excitement didn’t go unnoticed by the press. The event was one of the University’s most high-profile sporting events to date with extensive news coverage on Sky Sports News and write-ups in The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Daily Mail, and countless other regional and European news outlets.
Hosting the Müller British Athletics 10,000m Championships and European Athletics 10,000m Cup was a great opportunity for us to get back to what we do best after a difficult 16 months for the sport and events industry. Fortunately, there will be more excitement to come. The University has been chosen as an Official Partner of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, so we will be welcoming even more exceptional sportspeople to campus very soon.
Conferences & events work closely with UB Sport to specialise in sporting events of all sizes. We can make your event stand-out with everything from outstanding venues to specialist support from experts in the industry.
- International-standard floodlit 400m track
- 50m swimming pool
- Flexible sports hall/arena with 791 bleacher seats and balcony for 200
- 6 glass-backed squash courts, with venues for show courts
- All-weather outdoor pitches
- Accommodation for groups and individuals, with the option to create a ‘Games Village’
- Catering packages and bespoke menus for athletes
- Extensive outdoor spaces for stages, marquees and structures
- Electrical supply outdoors
- Support with security and stewarding for outdoor events
- Wi-Fi in outdoor areas