International athletics body gives Birmingham the thumbs up ahead of Games announcement

Arena Birmingham

Birmingham’s ability to stage a world class sporting event such as the Commonwealth Games has received a major vote of confidence.

While Birmingham’s appointment as 2022 host city now appears a formality, the support offered to it by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) will be welcomed by Games campaigners.

The IAAF backing for the city came after a delegation visited Birmingham to assess preparations for next year’s World Indoor Championships, which take place at Arena Birmingham in March.

The IAAF said it was confident the preparations made by the event’s Local Organising Committee (LOC) were on track.

A total of 14 IAAF staff spent the end of last week at the arena, as part of a two-day workshop to help plan the championships, which will see more than 400 athletes from 150 countries take part in six sessions of athletics berween March 1 and 4.

The IAAF received updates from the LOC on functional areas, including competition, event presentation, accommodation, ticketing, accreditation and protocol.

The delegation was also given a full tour of Arena Birmingham, which hosted the ninth edition of the world indoors in 2003, was the venue for the 2007 European Indoor Athletics Championships and has regularly staged the Indoor Grand Prix since it opened its doors in the early 1990s.

Paul Hardy, the IAAF’s Competition and Events Director, who led the delegation, said: “This is a vastly experienced LOC and we are confident their planning and preparation are on track to deliver an amazing IAAF World Indoor Championships next March.

“The momentum of the extremely successful IAAF World Championships in London this summer is rolling onto Birmingham where great competition, innovation and organisation can be expected.”

Joan Durose, Championships Director, said: “We were delighted to welcome the IAAF back to Birmingham. The two-day workshop was extremely useful and gave us an opportunity to provide an update on all the hard work we have done so far and also to talk in detail with our IAAF counterparts about our plans for the Championships.

“With less than 150 days to go, it is a crucial time for the organising team as we work towards delivering the best ever IAAF World Indoor Championships.”

The 2018 event is being jointly organised by Birmingham City Council and British Athletics, in close co-operation with the team at Arena Birmingham and all three organisations were represented at the workshop.