As we today reach the landmark of 800 days to go until a home Games in 2022, Commonwealth Games England CEO, Paul Blanchard, reflects on a significant step Team England made last week on the road to Birmingham.

Adjusting to new working conditions has become the new normal for everyone at Team England over the past two months. It has not only been our internal team having to adapt to a new way of life, but athletes have also had to modify the way they live, train and communicate with each other.

This was very evident recently as we made one of our biggest announcements ahead of the upcoming home Games in Birmingham.

We’re delighted to be partnering with Kukri Sports once again as our official kit supplier for Birmingham 2022. With a home Games, we know our kit has to be impactful and create a strong image of our Team England values but most importantly, it must be performance focussed as the athletes need to feel comfortable in what they perform in. 

Given the unprecedented impact of Covid-19, it’s been incredible that we have still been able to engage with so many athletes in an innovative way for them to have input into the first step in the design process via our virtual kit panel. 

We have been lucky to benefit from the creative minds of 23 athletes from 17 of the 19 Commonwealth Sports, including athletes from para sports, and I would like to thank our partner Governing Bodies for their support in this process. We will continue to work with Kukri to refine the design of our kit with a focus on performance and we will build on that to show off our best in Birmingham. 

The size of our kit project is huge with the complex nature of accommodating for 19 different sports, including eight para sports, and over 600 people. For the Gold Coast we supplied 38,000 items for the Team and we expect this exercise to be even bigger. 

However, despite this huge undertaking, we are very relaxed as Kukri have proven time and time again that they are up for the challenge. We’re really looking forward to seeing the designs come to life and we can’t wait to share it.

Aside from looking ahead to 2022, ensuring we stay engaged with our supporters at this current time has also been crucial. A joint effort from Team England athletes and staff has helped produced a wide range of videos and content for our social channels and website. Offering insightful, useful and uplifting content across our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn accounts over the last month in lockdown.

As we all slowly adapt to this new normal, and more towards easing lockdown restrictions it is still vital everyone at Team England and across the country stay safe wherever we are working.

All the best,