Sports stars back City's Commonwealth Games
AN array of sporting stars are backing
Liverpool's proposed bid to stage the 2026 Commonwealth Games. Hotly tipped Rio
heptathlon hopeful Katarina Johnson Thompson, 3 times ABA Heavyweight Champion
Tony Bellew, Olympian Beth Tweddle along with football legends Jamie Carragher
and Graeme Sharp have all agreed to act as Ambassadors for the bid which could
be submitted in around 13 months.
Mayor Joe Anderson said:- "Liverpool is an ambitious City and I believe we
have an enormous amount to offer when it comes to hosting an event of this scale
which would be an incredibly important catalyst for regeneration, investment and
raising the profile of sport. The Games will reflect our growing confidence and
expertise in organising large events which create memories for a lifetime and
bring the world together, with opportunities for people and places across the
City Region. I'm delighted that we already have a raft of local sporting heroes
backing our plans and our aim to host the most inclusive Commonwealth Games ever
The 1st steps of the potential bidding process will see a Project Director
appointed to oversee the entire bid and an independent consultancy firm
recruited to carry out a full feasibility study. This will include an assessment
of the City's infrastructure against the technical requirements set out by the
Commonwealth Games Federation, as well as a financial appraisal looking at all
the key factors required to deliver the high profile event.
The Project Director will also bring together a dedicated key stakeholder group
which will consist of industry experts who will support and guide the
consultants over the next 6 months.
Former host Commonwealth Games cities will be approached so lessons can be
learned around their 1st hand experiences of staging the event, as well as UK
Sport and Commonwealth Games England.
A final decision as to whether Liverpool will be nominated as the UK City to bid
for the Games will be made in September 2018, with the ultimate decision as to
who will host the 2026 Commonwealth Games confirmed in September 2019. This
decision is taken by the Commonwealth Games General Assembly.
What the Ambassadors say:- "I would be so proud if my hometown of
Liverpool was named as the host City for 1 of the biggest sporting events in the
world. Liverpool is an amazing place that people from all over the Commonwealth
would love. The City is synonymous with sport, the people are so welcoming and
there's nowhere better for the Commonwealth Games to take place in so I'm
delighted to act as an ambassador for the bid."
Katarina Johnson Thompson, European champion specialising in the heptathlon:-
"I think this is great for the City and something for the next generation of
athletes in Liverpool and the entire country to look forward to. The
Commonwealth Games is a huge event with massive media coverage that can help
propel an athlete into the public eye. I am a former Commonwealth Champion as a
professional and I fully understand its importance. I am definitely backing
Liverpool's bid to host the games."
Tony Bellew, newly crowned WBC World Cruiserweight Champion:- "I'm
delighted to get behind Liverpool's bid for the 2026 Commonwealth games.
Liverpool is a sporting city, consistently producing world class sports men and
women. It's obvious to me that Liverpool is the perfect place to host the 2026
Commonwealth Games. The bid is a great example of Joe Anderson's commitment to
sport across the City region."
Jamie Carragher, Liverpool and England legend:- "I have really fond
memories of the Commonwealth Games, particularly after winning Gold in
Manchester back in 2002, and it would be a massive coup for Liverpool to be host
city. Having trained and competed in Liverpool, I know that both competitors and
visitors will have an unforgettable experience here. It is an honour for me to
be an ambassador for the bid."
Beth Tweddle MBE, professional gymnast and 3 times World Champion:-
"Liverpool is an ambitious city, and has a good track record in recent years in
delivering large scale events. It would be fantastic for the City and its people
if Liverpool was given the honour of hosting the Commonwealth Games. I've seen
what the Games has done for my home city, Glasgow, so I am right behind this
bid, as I'm sure everyone in the sporting community will be."
Graeme Sharp, former footballer and Everton Football Club's leading post war
goal scorer... And it's not only sporting legends who are backing the bid.
Leader of Manchester City Council, Sir Richard Leese, (who was in the role when
Manchester hosted the Commonwealth Games in 2002) has expressed his support for
Liverpool's bid. He said:- "Manchester and Liverpool might have a long
tradition of sporting rivalry, but Liverpool's bid to host the 2026 Commonwealth
Games has Manchester's wholehearted support. As great northern cities just down
the M62 from each other, we recognise that what's good for one City is good for
both and the North West of England. Playing host to this major international
celebration of sport will provide a boost not just to Liverpool but the region
as a whole. Manchester's hosting of the 2002 Commonwealth Games had a profound
legacy for communities and residents. It was a catalyst to the regeneration of
east Manchester and resulted in a concentration of top class sporting facilities
for grassroots as well as elite use which have helped increase participation in
sport and aspirations. I'm sure Liverpool will be equally focused on legacy and
as neighbours we would be happy to offer any support we can."