The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games has confirmed a 24-hour change in start date, and will now begin on 28 July 2022, running through to 8 August.
The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, the World Athletics Championships, the UEFA Women’s Football Championships, and the multi-sport European Championships will now all be held over a six-week period during the summer of 2022.
This slight adjustment to the schedule is the result of multiple collaborative discussions between the leaders of some of the world’s major sporting events. It ensures that Birmingham 2022 will now boast two full weekends of Commonwealth Sport whilst extending the rest and recovery period for those athletes competing in the World Athletics Championships.
The joint announcement from the Birmingham 2022 Organising Committee and the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) comes after significant upheaval to the international sporting calendar caused by the impact of COVID-19.
The global health pandemic has caused many major sport competitions to be cancelled or postponed. This includes both the World Athletics Championships, taking place in Oregon USA, and The UEFA Women’s Football Championships, being held in England. Both events have now moved by 12 months from 2021 and will take place in July 2022.
To avoid any scheduling conflicts The CGF and Birmingham 2022, have been collaborating with World Athletics, UEFA, and The FA, to align on new dates that fit around each other. A standout result of these positive conversations and the resulting 24-hour shift in Commonwealth Games start date is the assurance that the opening ceremony of the Games will not clash with any of the matches at the UEFA Women’s Football Championships.
The alteration to the opening ceremony date also avoids a potential clash with the semi-finals of the recently rescheduled UEFA Women’s Football Championships, helping to protect and promote the profile of women’s sport. The UEFA Women’s Football Championships will further enhance the ever-growing popularity of women’s football, while Birmingham 2022 is expected to be the first major multi-sport event in history to have more women’s medal events than men’s events.
Paul Blanchard, CEO of Commonwealth Games England said: “We welcome the 24 hour move of the Games in reaction to the ever-changing sports landscape caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. We know there has been a huge amount of positive collaboration with all stakeholders involved and are pleased that a solution has been found to create an incredible summer for English sport. A home Games doesn’t come around often and the countdown for English athletes starts now.”
Ian Reid, CEO of Birmingham 2022 said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has had a seismic impact on the international sporting calendar for the next couple of years. This has understandably needed to be reshaped and rewritten and we’ve spent the last few weeks working with other organisations to align, collaborate, and analyse what these changes mean for Birmingham 2022, our athletes, our spectators, our TV viewers, and our partners.
“As well as this slight change to our dates we are working on a detailed competition schedule for our 19 sports, looking at how we can maximise the recovery time for those athletes who will be looking to participate in more than one major event in two years’ time.
“We’re grateful for the expert input we continue to receive from international federations, national governing bodies and athletes’ advisory committees and we’ll release more information later in the year.
“Birmingham 2022 will be at the heart of a superb summer of sport, which will be particularly exciting for sports fans in the UK, with the UEFA Women’s Football Championships and the Commonwealth Games being held back to back.”
Dame Louise Martin DBE from the Commonwealth Games Federation (the CGF) said: “In unprecedented circumstances, I am delighted that we have been able to work in partnership to ensure that the Commonwealth Games will take pride of place in what will be a fantastic summer of sport.
“The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on all areas of life, including the international sporting calendar, has been huge but in adversity, I have been proud to work closely alongside partner International Federations and Governing Bodies to help shape a spectacular five-week period of elite sport. It demonstrates the very best of sport working at the service of athletes.
“On behalf of the Commonwealth Sports Movement, I could not be happier that 2022 will now be a real celebration of women’s sport and a true showcase of our spectacular female athletes.
“I would like to thank World Athletics, UEFA, The FA for working with us to navigate very difficult circumstances to create an amazing summer of sport for fans and spectators."
To sign-up for ticketing, volunteering or information about the six-month long cultural programme that will accompany the sporting action at Birmingham 2022, go to www.birmingham2022.com.