This year’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham are coming to an end, with Team England’s medal count stacked high with gold medals in basketball, swimming, gymnastics, wheelchair racing and wheelchair basketball, to name a few. I was privileged to attend to the opening ceremony – there was a fantastic atmosphere and it was great to see the excitement of the teams ready to take part.
The games are not just about two weeks of sport – it helps bring the United Kingdom together and to encourage investment into sport and health at a local level.
This interesting article in the BBC focused on the success of the 2002 Commonwealth Games, and how it brought major new sporting venues and regeneration into Manchester.
These games are great opportunities to bring economic and cultural benefits to the UK, particularly to areas outside of London that have been overlooked. £35 million has been invested into the Birmingham games so far, both in its delivery but also in its legacy preparations to support communities and improve grassroots sport in the Midlands.
The Birmingham Games are a great opportunity to tackle inequalities in sport and physical activity, removing the barriers that affect participation, and to target action towards those who need the most help to be active.
The inspiration to get involved should have UK-wide effects as well. Let’s not wasted the legacy as the Government did after the 2012 Olympics, cutting funding to grass roots sporting facilities.
We’re lucky to have great sporting opportunities in south Manchester – now is a great time to get involved.