Birmingham gears up for summer of sport

 

The City’s National Indoor Arena (NIA) will be accommodating a number of leading athletes for the Aviva Grand Prix on Saturday, February 18, one of the final key events of the indoor season in the build-up to the 2012 Olympics. Olympic Gold medallist and former 100m world record holder Asafa Powell will be competing at the NIA, along with a host of other well-known names, including Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis.

The NIA will also be the home of the Yonex All England Badminton Championships, which runs from March 6-11. Returning to Birmingham following the success of last year’s competition, the event showcases the best of British badminton, with the finals being held on March 10 and 11.

As well as the training camps, Birmingham is set to host the Aviva trials and UK Championships at the Alexander Stadium from June 22-24, where competitors will be trying to secure their place at this summer’s prestigious Games.

Leader of Birmingham City Council, Mike Whitby, believes that hosting such a series of high-profile sporting events will ensure that Birmingham is firmly in the international spotlight during 2012.

It’s no surprise that there will be a strong athletics focus in Birmingham this summer, with the city hosting both the USA and Jamaican teams in the build-up to the showpiece 2012 Games in London.

Sporting superstars such as Usain Bolt, Tyson Gay and Carmelita Jeter are set to use Birmingham as the base for their training camps in July as part of their preparation for the biggest sporting event in the world.

The spotlight will be shining firmly on the city this summer and it’s up to us to capitalise on this and create a real legacy which ensures that Birmingham is the ultimate winner.

In March, Cofton Park in Longbridge will also host the World Cross Country trials, while top-flight athletics returns to the Alexander Stadium in August, with the Diamond League meeting at the Aviva Grand Prix.

Two legs to two wheels

The action will move from two legs to two wheels in May, when the NIA hosts the BMX World Championships. The event, which also serves as trials for the 2012 Olympic Games, will see the likes of World Champion Shanaze Reade competing for the sport’s top prize in the time trial, with over 2,000 competitors and 8000 spectators expected to come to Birmingham to showcase their skills between May 24 and 27.

Ian Taylor, Commercial Director for Marketing Birmingham, added:

Holding such prestigious events in the city, as well as the two international Olympic training camps, will showcase Birmingham’s credentials as a real sporting destination.

The fact that we are able to host such a diverse range of sports – from BMX to athletics to trampolining – underlines the city’s unique position of being able to cater for a range of different events and needs.

Birmingham will also be hosting the AEGON Classic Tennis competition in June, the 3rd Investec Test Match between England and the West Indies, also in June, the British National Trampolining Championships in July, Skyride Birmingham in August and the BUPA Great Birmingham run in October as part of a year of bumper sporting activity in the city.

Full programme:

  • February 18 - Athletics - Aviva Grand Prix - National Indoor Arena
  • March 6-11 - Badminton - Yonex All England Badminton Championships - National Indoor Arena
  • March 10 - Athletics - World Cross Country Trials - Cofton Park, Longbridge
  • May 24-27 - BMX - UCI World BMX Championships - National Indoor Arena
  • June 7-11 - Cricket  - England v West Indies - Warwickshire County Cricket Club
  • June 11-17 - Tennis - AEGON Classic Tennis - Edgbaston Priory Club
  • June 22-24 - Athletics - Aviva Trials and UK Championships - Alexander Stadium, Perry Barr
  • July 7-8 - Trampolining - British National Trampolining Championships - National Indoor Arena
  • August 19 - Cycling - Skyride Birmingham - Throughout Birmingham
  • August 26 - Athletics - Aviva Birmingham Grand Prix - Alexander Stadium, Perry Barr
  • October 21 - Athletics - BUPA Great Birmingham Run - Birmingham City Centre

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