And just like that the festive season is upon us and the year is coming to an end.
There may not have been a Commonwealth Games or Commonwealth Youth Games to look back on this year, but nevertheless, 2019 has been full of memorable moments for Team England.
From engaging with Birmingham’s communities as the city prepares to host the forthcoming Commonwealth Games, through to celebrating our athletes’ sporting successes, there’s been no shortage of moments to savour.
Alongside our athletes, we’ve been travelling the length and breadth of the country more than ever before as we chart their paths towards Birmingham 2022, and reflect on their journeys to this point.
From attending a crime preventative community boxing session in Burton with Frazer Clarke, to honouring remembrance day at RAF Northholt with Liam Sanford, we’ve been there every step of the way.
Next year will of course be a momentous year for sport as many Team England athletes gear up to compete at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and we look forward to seeing how they get on.
But just beyond on the horizon looms the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
Fast approaching, many of Team England’s local athletes were on hand in July to celebrate three years to go until Birmingham hosts the games. And just weeks later we joined in the announcement that Birmingham will be the largest ever female and para-sports programme in Commonwealth Games history.
We were delighted to announce Mark England as Team England’s Chef de Mission for the Games, who will first be working with many of our athletes in the same capacity next year in Tokyo.
Birmingham 2022 will offer the opportunity for many of the future stars of tomorrow to gain their first taste of competing at a multi-sport games.
Potentially among those will be the five recipients of Team England’s Sir John Hanson Young Talent Scholarship who each received a £10,000 bursary to help aid their progression towards hopefully competing at Birmingham. Expect to see a lot more of them in the run up to 2022 as we continue to follow their progress.
Speaking of future sporting talent, in June it was announced that Trinidad & Tobago will be the hosts of the 2021 Commonwealth Youth Games.
Many of Team England’s greatest athletes of recent times including the likes of Dina Asher-Smith and Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill have all competed at previous Youth Games, so that will no doubt be the case again when Francesca Kelly-Carter leads the team in the Caribbean.
With so much to look forward to over the next 12 months and beyond, 2020 promises to be another outstanding year for Team England.
Make sure you’re with us there.