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CIVIC RECEPTION HELD TO HONOUR LAST YEAR’S CHAMPIONS

Some of our athletes with the Lady Lord Mayor at the civic reception

Some of our athletes with the Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Councillor Anne Underwood at the civic reception

A civic reception was held on Friday night 30 June 2017 in our honour for winning both the British Athletics League and UK Women’s League in 2016.  As  part of the evening The City continued to promote its bid to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games to which Birchfield and its athletes hve given their full support.

Olympic gold medallist and Honorary Life Vice President Katharine Merry and hurdler Jake Porter, together with other elite athletes, were all in attendance at the special event at Birmingham’s Council House and they all agreed that the City was already well-placed to host the Games with world-class sporting arenas and a knowledgeable sporting crowd.

City leaders are preparing a bid for the Games, which has also attracted interest from Cardiff and Liverpool.

Birmingham MPs, sports stars including Olympic gold medal winner Mark Lewis-Francis and even the Prime Minister have backed the city’s bid, which would have to be up-and-running by next year.

The City has a strong sports pedigree, with the Alexander Stadium, Villa Park, Edgbaston and the Barclaycard Arena all potential bases.host venues.

It would also offer an opportunity to engage with the wider region through the West Midlands Combined Authority, which would open the door to Coventry’s Ricoh Arena and the Hawthorns in West Bromwich.

Katharine Merry stated that he City’s established infrastructure meant it had a head start against rivals Liverpool commenting “It’s a huge task to have a city ready to host the games with just five years’ notice but Birmingham can. If you compare it to a 100 metre race, then Birmingham has a 40 metre head start. The facilities here are world class and it’s time for the City to host a prestigious major world multi-sport competition.”

Speaking at the civic reception for Birchfield Harriers, the City Council deputy leader Ian Ward congratulated the Club for its achievements and said the Birmingham bid met the Government’s criteria for a “low risk, low cost, high quality games.”

He added the two week games would bring hundreds of millions of pounds to the region and leave a lasting legacy. “There are 71 Commonwealth nations and every one of them is represented in our City’s diverse population,” he said.

“We plan to double the capacity of the Alexander Stadium to around 25,000 – making it the premier athletics stadium in the country.”

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