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Commonwealth Games equipment to be given to community groups

Northern Ireland’s Michaela Walsh and Nigeria’s Elizabeth Oshoba in action (Peter Byrne/PA)
Northern Ireland’s Michaela Walsh and Nigeria’s Elizabeth Oshoba in action (Peter Byrne/PA)

Schools, community sports and voluntary groups could benefit from a Birmingham Commonwealth Games “legacy” giveaway of equipment left over from the competition.

More than 16,000 items used at the 11-day event are up for grabs, including wrestling mats, medicine balls, weight-lifting bars and kettlebells.

Ministers have said charities and voluntary groups could end up taking away “a piece of Commonwealth Games history” to benefit their communities.

Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games – Day Five
Basketballs are among the equipment being given away (Isaac Parkin/PA)

The Games’ organisers, Sport England and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), are behind the move, with groups able to view and bid for the equipment lots on a website.

Among the kit are bikes, martial arts mats, weights, T20 cricket equipment, basketballs, boxing gloves and weights, as well as cones and bibs.

Groups must put in their applications by September 19.

Tim Hollingsworth, Sport England chief executive, said while the Games were “one to remember” it was “vital sport and activity in our communities does not stop”.

“It is a wonderful part of the Games’ immediate legacy that kit and equipment that has been part of iconic moments – like England women’s historic first hockey gold – can now go to local groups to support them in their ambition to benefit from playing sport and being active,” he said.

“This was always a key goal – to build a legacy in the community of new opportunities previously not open or easily available to those that want it the most.”

Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games – Day Ten
The England women’s hockey team celebrate after winning their gold medal match against Australia (Joe Giddens/PA)

Nigel Huddleston, Commonwealth Games minister, said: “It’s fantastic to think the equipment used to set personal bests and Commonwealth Games records will soon be used in community centres and schools across the West Midlands.

“I would encourage all eligible organisations to apply – you could take a piece of Commonwealth Games history home with you, and inspire your community to fall in love with a new sport.”

Other equipment, including the Games’ boxing ring and judo mats, are being distributed among national sports bodies.

Bids are open for groups based in Birmingham, the Black Country, Coventry, Solihull, Warwickshire, Staffordshire, Shropshire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire.

Councils, individuals and commercial groups cannot apply.