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Birmingham 2022 praised for positive progress “across all areas”

Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) believes Birmingham 2022 is “fully on track” to host a “world-class” event next year following the conclusion of the sixth Coordination Commission visit.

Canada’s Bruce Robertson, the CGF vice-president and the head of the Commission, said positive progress had been made “across all areas” since the last inspection in December.

Since then, construction work has moved on at the focal venue of the Games – the Alexander Stadium – as well as the new Sandwell Aquatics Centre.

Birmingham 2022 has also unveiled Perry the bull as its mascot and launched its search for 13,000 volunteers.

The Commission, tasked with monitoring next year’s Commonwealth Games to ensure it stays on schedule and is delivered to budget, was also left impressed by a pledge to deliver a carbon-neutral event.

“The Birmingham 2022 Organising Committee and partners have done an outstanding job in ensuring delivery plans for the Games remain fully on track,” said Robertson.

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“The team have responded superbly to every challenge that has arisen and the rate of positive progress that has taken place despite the ongoing global pandemic has been quite remarkable.

“The Organising Committee is continuing to recruit for numerous roles locally and provide contracts to businesses based in the West Midlands, ensuring a significant socioeconomic boost to the local community and real legacy benefits when the region needs it most.

“The CoCom members were particularly pleased with the ambition to stage the first ever carbon-neutral Games, setting out an exciting long-term blueprint for future Commonwealth Games.

“With the recent launch of the Birmingham 2022 volunteering programme, ‘the Commonwealth Collective’, and many more announcements scheduled in the coming weeks and months ahead, including the launch of ticket sales and the Queen’s Baton Relay, we have no doubt excitement in the Games will continue to grow as the region accelerates its preparations to host a fantastic competition.”

Other members of the Commission are Association of Summer Olympic International Federations executive director Andrew Ryan, CGF chief operating officer Darren Hall, former Glasgow City Council director of governance Carole Forrest and Commonwealth Games Scotland head of Games operations Elinor Middlemiss.

“Preparations for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games are going extremely well and we are delighted with the positive feedback from the CGF Coordination Commission on our progress,” said Birmingham 2022 chief executive Ian Reid.

“This has been a really great week for the Games, as we launched our volunteer programme on Tuesday, and I’m pleased to report that we’ve already received thousands of applications from people who can’t wait to be part of the ‘Commonwealth Collective’.

“Birmingham 2022 sits at the heart of a superb summer of sport next year and we’re looking forward to making history by delivering the biggest ever Commonwealth Games sports programme, with 19 sports and eight different Para-sports, along with a six-month cultural programme that will entertain, engage and embrace millions of people.

“As always, we are grateful for the support and advice from Bruce and his colleagues on the CGF Coordination Commission and we look forward to providing them with further updates on all of our progress over the next 12 months.”

Birmingham 2022 is due to be held in the English city between July 28 and August 8 next year.

It is hoped a “normal” Games will take place following the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The next Coordination Commission visit will take place later this year.

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