A wide range of sports equipment used by teams and athletes across all of the venues during the Commonwealth Games will be gifted to local sport and community groups in the West Midlands. In a join-up between Sport England, the Birmingham 2022 organisers and the Department for Digital, Culture Media & Sport (DCMS), over 16,000 sports items - including bikes, martial arts mats, weights, T20 cricket equipment, basketballs, boxing gloves and weights, as well as general equipment, such as cones and bibs - will all be made available.
The community giveaway will support the shared goal to create a lasting community impact in the West Midlands, by supporting people to be active beyond the Games. Not-for-profit community-based organisations, such as local voluntary groups, schools, sports clubs, Community Interest Companies (CICs) and social enterprises that deliver community-based projects, that seek to tackle inactivity and promote the physical and mental benefits of leading an active life, are all eligible to apply.
The equipment giveaway is open to communities in Birmingham, the Black Country, Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire, Hereford and Worcestershire, Shropshire, and Staffordshire. Applications are open from 15th August until 19th September, with the process is designed to be as inclusive as possible to reflect the diversity of the West Midlands. Guidance for the application process is available in 15 languages and video applications are accepted too. A full catalogue of the equipment for the community giveaway will be made available on the Sport England website for groups and clubs to look at and apply for.
In addition, some of the high-performance equipment from the Games - such as temporary performance sprung flooring that created the netball and 3x3 basketball courts, as well as the boxing ring and high-performance Judo mats - is being distributed amongst national sports bodies. This means that, alongside the separate community giveaway, these sports bodies will be able to repurpose some of their high-performance equipment into communities that can benefit the most from it.
Commonwealth Games Minister Nigel Huddleston said: "It's fantastic to think the equipment used to set personal bests and Commonwealth Games records will soon be used in community centres and schools across the West Midlands. I would encourage all eligible organisations to apply - you could take a piece of Commonwealth Games history home with you, and inspire your community to fall in love with a new sport."
Tim Hollingsworth, CEO of Sport England said: “The Birmingham Games were one to remember - but it’s now vital that sport and activity in our communities does not stop. It is a wonderful part of the Games’ immediate legacy that kit and equipment that has been part of iconic moments - like England women’s historic first hockey gold - can now go to local groups to support them in their ambition to benefit from playing sport and being active. This was always a key goal: to build a legacy in the community of new opportunities previously not open or easily available to those that want it the most.”
Councillor Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “After an unforgettable 11 days of sport and celebrations that showcased the very best of Birmingham, it is vital we ensure the benefits of hosting the Commonwealth Games are felt by people right across the city and the wider region. This programme is one of the most simple, yet direct and effective, ways we can do this. It will contribute to the legacy of the Games by helping people get and stay active for years to come.”
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “This summer’s spectacular Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games must represent a starting point and not a finish line in the rebirth of our region if we are to make the most of this moment of collective celebration. I want to see these Games go on to deliver a lasting legacy for the people of the West Midlands for generations to come.
“A rapid, exciting and very practical way to make legacy meaningful is through what we do with ‘the remains of the Games’ – by which I mean the fantastic sports equipment that will now be shared with communities right across our region. It is great news that this equipment will make its way to grassroots sporting safe havens where it can make a real difference – expanding access and encouraging people to get healthier and more active. “I cannot wait to see lives changed for the better in the weeks, months and years ahead.”
Amrick Singh Ubhi, Nishkam Civic Association & Chair, WMCA Faith Strategic Partnership, said: “This is an amazing opportunity for the super-diverse communities doing phenomenal activities at grassroots level to step forward and be part of the legacy of Birmingham 2022. Tell us of the life-changing difference you are making and how the equipment will help you fulfil your ambition, mission and desire to help communities. We have sought to remove as many barriers as possible to make it easy for all to apply.
“It has been an honour to work on this, with the goal of getting this equipment to as many groups as possible - to help to keep providing services, or to use their trusted position in communities to start providing projects to tackle inactivity and promote the physical and mental benefits of an active life.”
Any West Midlands organisation who wants to find out more and want to apply for equipment, should visit: www.sportengland.org/equipmentgiveaway