Today marks two years to go until the start of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games on the 28th July – and not even a global pandemic has stopped Team England stars working hard to deliver success for the home nation in 2022.
We have today released a set of images and video series entitled ‘Team England 2020: United, Diverse and Successful’ which highlight how three athletes have been training hard during the Covid-19 crisis to ensure they are in the best shape possible to deliver medal success for England in Birmingham.
This campaign is based around our values of United, Diverse and Successful, with each athlete training hard within their hometowns and cities despite the Covid-19 pandemic affecting their normal training and competing routine.
As the country emerges out of lockdown, gymnast Courtney Tulloch, para swimmer Alice Tai and basketball player Dominique Allen have shown how they have remained motivated and found unique ways to train with a Commonwealth Games on home soil on their minds.
Team England gymnast, Courtney Tulloch, was one of the heroes at the 2018 Commonwealth Games winning two golds medals. He has had to change his training during Covid-19 pandemic while staying at home for long periods over the past four months. He has transformed his garden into an outdoor gym and even utilised a local park, once restrictions were lifted, to find an even more stimulating environment in which to train.
“Gymnastics is a really difficult, if not virtually impossible, sport to replicate without access to all my usual equipment so the last few months have been tough. They’ve been tough for the whole country but, in an odd way, I’ve kind of enjoyed the challenge of finding new ways to train. I’ve used my body more than ever and used household objects, or natural elements like trees in the park and outdoor spaces, to work on my strength and conditioning.
“It’s a relief that the restrictions are starting to lift though because I have missed my Team England teammates."
We have all kept in touch via social media to spur each other on but I can’t wait until we all meet up as we get ready for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. There is no other team quite like Team England. It includes athletes from all over the country, from all backgrounds and is the most representative team of England as it is today. I am always proud to pull on the kit because it stands for something.
"For me, Team England is all about the diversity of athletes uniting together for a single purpose – to do our best for our country.”
Alice Tai MBE, gold medal para swimmer for Team England at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games said:
“As athletes we have all had to adapt. I haven’t been able to swim in a pool for a period of time so have done lots of land-based training at home and have even ventured out to the sea on the South Coast. As a para athlete, swimming in the sea in the UK can be a challenge but we all want to do whatever we can to keep up our training. Despite the sunshine, it was still a shock to the system to get into the water and very different from my normal training environment.”
“The last few months have been challenging for everyone in society. The role played by key workers has been phenomenal."
"They are simply the best people who have kept our nation going during the pandemic. I know that all the Team England athletes want to pay tribute to the nurses, doctors, teachers and key workers who have done so much for us all. My Mum is a teacher and has worked all thought lockdown and, in my small way, I want to pay back all those key workers by winning gold in Birmingham in two years’ time.”
Basketball star Dominique Allen, can’t wait for the Games to be held on her home patch. The Commonwealth silver medallist from Dudley can already see the excitement growing in the West Midlands. She said:
“The city is buzzing that the Commonwealth Games are coming to town. Team England has won over 700 medals at the Commonwealth Games and I was so proud to be one of those medallists on the Gold Coast.
"I have no doubt that Team England will create a whole host of new golden moments in Birmingham in two years’ time."
"It’ll be the first time that 3x3 basketball and wheelchair basketball will be in the Games and for me it could be one of the best sports to watch. It’s so exciting to see the venue announced today, which will be an incredible backdrop to showcase the largest urban team sport in the world. This is a city and region that loves sport and the Birmingham fans will make the Games one of the best ever, especially for the English athletes competing in front of a home crowd.”
The 22nd Commonwealth Games will be held in Birmingham, the third time that England has hosted the Games in its history. It will be the first home Games for England since Manchester 2002, 18 years ago.
Commonwealth Games England CEO, Paul Blanchard, said:
“The two years to go landmark is something that Team England as the home nation of Birmingham 2022 is thrilled to embrace. These home Games which are right on our doorstep will give our fans the opportunity to support our English athletes and give them the best chance to succeed.”
The Games will bring together 6,500 athletes and officials in one of the youngest cities in Europe (around half of its residents are under 30); cheered on by an inclusive, welcoming and sport-loving city region that is already home to 187 nationalities from around the Commonwealth and the rest of the world. With a richly vibrant and diverse population, what better place to bring together a successful Team England, united in its diversity.
Birmingham 2022 will play host to the biggest para sports programme the Commonwealth Games has ever seen following the inclusion of para table tennis last year alongside beach volleyball and women’s T20 cricket. The new addition of women’s T20 cricket to the Games, with matches to be played at Edgbaston Cricket Ground mean that for the first time there is expected to be more medals available for women than there are for men.
The Games themselves have also been moved 24 hours from their original date of the 27th July, to the 28th July 2022. This change was made due to the unprecedented impact of Covid-19 on the sports landscape and will create an incredible summer of sport in 2022.