Squash is set to feature in a huge sports spectacular in Birmingham today which marks one year to go until the start of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
Whatever their age, people from across the region are invited to join the free sports festival in Centenary Square from 10am-6pm and try their hand at some of the many sports that will feature in the Games including squash, boxing and athletics. There’s also the chance to meet Team England athletes and see them in action demonstrating their skills.
The squash exhibition is being staged by Squash United by Birmingham 2022, a year-long legacy programme which aims to showcase and raise the profile of squash, and give thousands of people from the West Midlands the chance to try the sport during a number of Community Engagement Roadshows.
At the squash zone, sports fans can have a hit on one of the mini squash courts between 10am and 6pm on Wednesday and meet some of the biggest names in the sport, including World No.25 Declan James and England No.3 Millie Tomlinson They’ll also take part in question and answer sessions, providing a real insight into how they are preparing for the Commonwealth Games. Here’s what’s planned:
- 10.30-11.45am: The Longest Rally Challenge
- 1-1.30pm: Pro Demo
- 1.35-2pm: Birmingham 2022 1 Rally Championships
- 2-4pm: The Batak Wall Challenge
- 4.30-5pm: The Longest Rally Challenge
In addition to the squash, a boxing ring will host a pad challenge and a shooting challenge will be held on a basketball court. There will also be a sprint challenge on a short track, so that aspiring athletes can test their speed. Tag wrestling and judo sessions will be running throughout the day and table tennis tables will allow sports festival participants to take part in short games.
Cricket will be showcased through a batting simulator, with expert coaches on hand to give batting tips and a mini bowling green is being created so that everyone can try their hand at lawn bowls. A volleyball speed cage will also be set up to test the speed of your ‘spike’.
The event is for people of all ages, but the organisers are hoping that families with children will come and take part, especially as it is an opportunity for young people to have a go at sports that they may not have seen before. Information will be provided about sports clubs and organisations in the Birmingham area that offer the sports being showcased in the square.
The Commonwealth sports festival will also be a chance to find out more about the Birmingham 2022 West Midlands ticket ballot which is currently open and providing residents of the region an exclusive opportunity to apply for tickets before the rest of the world.
The organisers are also suggesting that event attendees bring a reusable bottle, as a water bar will be hosted by Severn Trent, official nature and carbon neutral supporter for Birmingham 2022. This will allow attendees to refill their bottles with tap water so they can keep hydrated during the event and help reduce the number of single use plastic bottles.
Attendees at the outdoor event are encouraged to take a lateral flow test before arriving at Centenary Square and hand sanitising stations will be available throughout the site. A queueing system will also be in operation at the sports activities that are in high demand, to give everyone plenty of space when taking part.
Test and trace barcodes will be displayed in the square too, so that visitors can check in, and face coverings will be encouraged at busy times.