As Birmingham’s Commonwealth Games Bill completes its passage through parliament today (Thursday), Labour’s Shadow Sports Minister has welcomed the “massive opportunity” to extend participation in our region while the Shadow West Midlands Mayor has hailed the Games as “a festival of our amazing civic spirit”.

Celebrating the integration of para events and the potential for women to make up the majority of medal winners, Alison McGovern MP also called for the 2022 event to be used by government as a catalyst for improving access to team sports by those from lower income backgrounds.

But West Midlands Metro Mayoral candidate Liam Byrne MP has warned that success will not be judged on the medals scoreboard, “but by the lives we change” and expressed regret at the government’s refusal to accredit the Games as a Real Living Wage employer.

The 2022 Commonwealth Games will see 71 teams from around the world take part in 24 disciplines across 19 different sports hosted across Birmingham, the Black Country, Coventry, Cannock Chase and Royal Leamington Spa.

Commenting on the completion of the Birmingham Commonwealth Games Bill, Alison McGovern said:

“Labour is delighted the Commonwealth Games will be coming to Birmingham in 2022. The Games are a massive opportunity for our elite athletes and to promote participation for everyone.

“The potential for more female medals than male and a fully integrated para sporting competition are particularly exciting.

“We know those from lower income backgrounds are less likely to participate in sports. The Government should ensure the Commonwealth Games are part of concrete steps to address equal access to team sports opportunities across our country.”

Liam Byrne added:

“This will be the greatest Commonwealth Games in history. Not just a spectacular festival of Commonwealth sport but a festival of our amazing civic spirit.

“But we know that our success will be judged not by the medals that we win but by the lives that we change.

“That's why it's such a shame the government refused to back our plan to guarantee a Real Living Wage for all.”