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Lighting the Town RED this World AIDS Day

SOME of Merseyside's best known landmarks was bathed in red light over the weekend of 30 November and 1 December 2019, to mark World AIDS Day, by lighting the City and surrounding boroughs red we are joining together to raise awareness. Red symbolised the Red Ribbon, a symbol of compassion and support for people living with HIV. We are sending out a positive message that as a community we can challenge and remove the stigma that still surrounds HIV and acknowledge the progress around treatment and prevention.

Cabinet member for adult social care and health, Councillor Paul Brant, said:- "We are proud and pleased to be hosting this year's vigil at the Cunard Building and lighting up some of our buildings red to mark World AIDS Day. The medication that is available to treat HIV means that people with HIV can now lead long and healthy lives. We need more people to get tested to ensure access to treatment. We also need to end the stigma attached to HIV and testing; it is a virus that can affect many different communities in society"

Sahir House service user who has been living with HIV for 7 years commented:- "I feel by seeing the City lit up RED it is sending out a very positive message about how we, as a community can challenge and remove the stigma that still surrounds HIV, acknowledge the progress around treatment and prevention and not to forget all those we have lost to the virus"

On Sunday, 1 December 2019, 'Sahir House World AIDS Day Vigil' was also held in the Cunard Building on the Strand, Liverpool. A selection of the UK AIDS memorial quilts where also exhibited along with art work from:- 'Sahir House Many Hands 1' hear network created in partnership with Homotopia along with Guest Speakers  and  performance from the Rainbow Chorus Choir.  For more information contact Sahir House please go to:- Sahir.Org.UK.

Top team appointed to lead delivery of major sporting events

Mayor Joe Anderson (centre) with Denise Barrett-Baxendale and Brian Barwick

BRIAN Barwick, the former Controller of ITV Sport, Chair of the Rugby Football League and Chief Executive of the Football Association, will Chair a new Sports Event Delivery Group (SEDG). The group will maximise the opportunities from upcoming international sporting events, including the:- Special Olympics GB National Summer Games 2021 and the 2022 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships. Professor Denise Barrett Baxendale MBE, Director and Chief Executive of Everton Football Club, will chair the board for the Special Olympics GB National Summer Games 2021.

Brian Barwick, Chair of the Sport Events Delivery Group, said: Liverpool is a City that knows how to put on a show, knows its sport and welcomes visitors from across the globe. "I am a son of Liverpool and have a huge respect and regard for it, which is why I was honoured to chair the City's bid for the 2022 Commonwealth Games. It brought home to me the tremendous passion and commitment to sport that exists in the City so I am delighted to be now given the opportunity to use my experience to deliver world class sporting events and showcase Liverpool to the world."

The Special Olympics is the UK's biggest disability sports event and will be held in Liverpool, in August 2021, at venues including:- ACC Liverpool, Greenbank Sports Academy and Wavertree Athletics Village. A spectacular opening and closing ceremony, a legacy festival and a dedicated volunteer programme will complement this multi-sport event. Up to 3,000 athletes will be involved in a wide range of sports including:- athletics, boccia, football, gymnastics and swimming.

Denise Barrett Baxendale, Chair of the Special Olympics GB 2021 Summer Games Board, said:- "I am delighted that the Special Olympics will be coming to my home City Liverpool. I had the pleasure of leading a dedicated and hardworking panel for our successful application. These Games are a chance to make a huge difference to the lives of many inspiring athletes and their families. Liverpool 2021 will represent a highly significant opportunity to showcase the talents and abilities of children and adults with intellectual disabilities. The Special Olympics are no stranger to Liverpool; the City Region successfully hosted the 1st ever Games back in 1982 and I am determined the athletes, their families, and visitors enjoy a warm scouse welcome as the Games return home, in 2021."

Deputy Mayor and Liverpool City Council's Cabinet Member for Culture, Tourism and Events, Councillor Wendy Simon, said:- "Liverpool has a 1st class track record in delivering major sporting events; just this year we have hosted the highly successful Netball World Cup and the British Gymnastics Championships which attracted huge audiences and boosted the City's global profile. It is vital that we maximise the opportunities that major sporting events bring to our City not just in terms of giving athletes the best possible experience and putting on a show the City and the UK can be proud of, but also encouraging and sport participation and inspiring the next generation of athletes."

The 2022 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships will see an estimated 600 gymnasts from 90 countries taking part in 10 days of competition at ACC Liverpool, generating a local economic impact of ₤5.1 million and the event will also be a qualifying event for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.

More information about the Special Olympics GB National Summer Games can be found here.

More information about the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships can be found here.

Michelle Carney, Chief Executive of Special Olympics GB, said:- "The City of Liverpool is a special place for Special Olympics GB. Knowsley in Merseyside provided the setting for the first ever Special Olympics Summer Games back in 1982 and we are delighted and excited to return for what will be the biggest multi sport tournament the City has ever staged. With Mayor Joe Anderson, Denise Barrett Baxendale and Brian Barwick over seeing our National Summer Games in August 2021; we couldn't be in safer hands. The only problem is, we just can't wait for it to come around!"

Jane Allen, Chief Executive Officer of British Gymnastics, said:- "British Gymnastics has a very special relationship with the City of Liverpool. Over the past 9 years together we have grown our British Artistic Gymnastics Championships to be our most prestigious domestic event which attracts record crowds each year. Building on this success, we are excited to be staging the Artistic World Championships in 2022, at the M&S Arena. This will be a highlight for a City that has a strong international sporting reputation."

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