How the Commonwealth Games 2022 Brought Birmingham Together by Hannah Batey, King Edward VI Handsworth School

2022 saw a summer of sporting success for the UK from the Lionesses’ record breaking victory at a sold-out Wembley Stadium to the largest Commonwealth Games to date, hosted by Birmingham. Despite initial scepticism, Birmingham rose to the challenge, creating a memorable Games enjoyed throughout the nation and Commonwealth.

 

Having been awarded the Commonwealth Games in 2017, Birmingham had ample time to prepare, however with the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic almost two years of planning, building and marketing time were lost. Battling these additional challenges did not make for an easy or cheap task, however with £778 million of public funding and over 10,000 volunteers (on top of the paid workforce) the city was not deterred by these unforeseen circumstances. 

 

Birmingham’s third-rate reputation was proven undeserved by the way the city showed up for the Commonwealth Games. Without the huge volunteer effort, it simply would not have been possible with around 14,000 providing essential services on the front line and behind the scenes.

 

Venues throughout the city were made accessible through major public transport developments, with an aim to make this the greenest Commonwealth Games to date, and spectators showed up in their thousands. ‘Brummies’ welcomed visitors with open arms with athletes commenting on the warm atmosphere across all venues such as the Alexander Stadium and University of Birmingham facilities.

 

Overall the Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022 boasts a strong reputation as a Games of sustainability, inclusion, accessibility and respect and was the first to have athletes and para-athletes competing side by side. Its legacy is one which will serve the city well for years to come.