Commonwealth Games legacy in action in the Black Country

Andy Street visits Oldbury Academy to see the Games Legacy impact

Equipment used by elite athletes at last year’s Commonwealth Games is helping grassroots groups give more sporting chances to young people across the West Midlands

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands has visited The Way Youth Zone in Wolverhampton and Oldbury Academy Olympic Weightlifting Club, to kick off his one-year Games anniversary tour of the region to see how communities are benefiting from the legacy.

Almost 300 local sport and community groups shared 16,000 pieces of sports equipment used by teams and athletes as part of the kit giveaway by Sport England, the Birmingham 2022 Organising Committee and the Department for Digital, Culture Media & Sport (DCMS).  

In Wolverhampton, the Mayor was given a boxing and mixed martial arts demonstration by members of The Way Youth Zone’s boxing club, showing how their donation of boxing gloves, buckets, gauze, gym tape and ice bags is being put to good use by the 350 eight to 18-year-olds who regularly attend training sessions.

The Mayor also visited Oldbury Academy Olympic Weightlifting Club, which is working with British Weight Lifting to give the local community and school children from across Sandwell and Birmingham access to equipment to teach them how to develop strength, build resilience and overcome personal challenges.

Since the Games, the club has benefitted from competition-standard Olympic bars and powerlifting discs and its facilities have been refurbished, thanks to further support from British Weight Lifting. The Mayor said:

“I was determined that after securing the Commonwealth Games our region would see a tangible legacy for the months and years to come. That’s why it was so brilliant to visit both The Way Youth Zone in Wolverhampton and Oldbury Academy Olympic Weightlifting Club to see how the equipment giveaway is helping to deliver that legacy and provide quality sporting opportunities to young people.

“The equipment we gave away to these two fantastic clubs is just a small part of the 16,000 pieces given out to almost 300 local sport and community groups across the West Midlands since the end of the Games. We hope this equipment will encourage more people into sport, which we know helps improve both physical and mental health.

“This equipment giveaway is on top of the £70million investment we are making in the West Midlands through the Legacy Enhancement Fund – born out of the underspend on the Commonwealth Games budget. We are determined to ensure as many people as possible feel a long-lasting benefit from what was an incredible summer last year.”

The WMCA is managing the £70 million Commonwealth Games Legacy Enhancement Fund – which was made possible as a result of the effective organisation and delivery of last summer’s Games which meant the event came in under budget. Following discussions with the Mayor, the UK Government decided to invest that money into the region to enhance the legacy and ensure the Games continues to make a positive impact for many years to come.

It will enable the continuation of the five hugely successful Games Legacy Trailblazer projects, run by ‘United by 2022’, the Official Games Legacy Charity; makes almost £12 million for two community grant programmes; and provides £13.7 million to help bring the 2026 European Athletics Championships to the region; £5.75 million for jobs and skills; £2 million to grow the region’s social economy; and £3.25 million for business support.

There’s also £4.1 million to support the recovery of the region’s cultural, heritage and creative sector; and £2.5 million to kick off the Global West Midlands programme which aims to build on the international profile the Games brought to the region.


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