Invited by the University of Birmingham Conservatives, controversial backbench MP Jacob Rees-Mogg visited campus on Friday 9th March, speaking about his views on free speech, housing, mental health, Russia and tuition fees to a packed lecture theatre of around 300 students.Written by Erin Santillo & John Wimperis on 16th March 2018
UoB Welcomes Commonwealth Games
UoB Vice Chancellor and students have welcomed the decision to announce Birmingham as Commonwealth host.
On the success of the city of Birmingham being chosen to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games, the University of Birmingham, as one of the UK’s leading sporting universities, has welcomed the opportunity by opening it’s sporting facilities, to host some of the games’ events.
The University’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir David Eastwood, expresses the staff and students excitement regarding the world class athletes striving to achieve medals on campus, in stating ‘the University of Birmingham is honoured to have been part of this successful bid to bring such a prestigious sporting event to our home city’. The University of Birmingham has a reputation for providing a fantastic training environment for not only it’s own athletes, but for hosting Team Jamaica prior to the London 2012 Olympic Games and the IAAF World Championships earlier this year.
“'The University of Birmingham is honoured to have been part of this successful bid to bring such a prestigious sporting event to our home city'
The University has recently opened a new £55 million Sport & Fitness Club, which includes six squash courts which can be adjusted to accommodate large doubles courts, with room for the addition of 200 spectator seats, in preparation for the Commonwealth Games. The Club also has a 2000m² indoor arena as well as a second sports hall, for use during the games, as a fantastic setting for the entirely glass squash show court and s secondary show court. The University has numerous other sports facilities which can be used for teams to train ahead of the Games. This includes a 50m training pool, a new 8 lane 400m track, and many outdoor pitches.
Sir David Eastwood says that Birmingham is a ‘global university and we have invested significantly in new sporting facilities that match the reputation we enjoy around the world. I look forward to welcoming athletes from every part of the Commonwealth to our beautiful campus and wish them every sporting success for the Games’.
“'I look forward to welcoming athletes from every part of the Commonwealth to our beautiful campus and wish them every sporting success for the Games'
Further development to the sporting facilities is two existing water-based synthetic pitches have undergone a £2 million refurbishment in order to meet the International Hockey Federation and Commonwealth Games requirements.
Zena Wooldridge OBE, Director of Sport at the University of Birmingham, as well as the President of the European Squash Federation and member of Birmingham Commonwealth Games Steering Group, said: ‘It is absolutely fantastic news that Birmingham will host the 2022 Commonwealth Games’, and that the University has a ‘long pioneering heritage and passion for sport’, the city is delighted to present the University’s new world class facilities in honour of the games.
“'Long pioneering heritage and passion for sport'
The excitement of the games coming to Birmingham is expressed by the Rio 2016 Olympic Champion for Hockey, and University of Birmingham student, Lily Owsley MBE who said: ‘since becoming a student at Birmingham I’ve had the benefit of being able to study, train and play on this fantastic campus, with world class facilities and support. A home Commonwealth Games in Birmingham 2022 will certainly be an incentive for me to continue playing to make the England team for 2022, and play on home ground here on campus. I’m sure it will also inspire many other young players to live their dream of playing for England in a major Games on home turf.’
“'A home Commonwealth Games in Birmingham 2022 will certainly be an incentive for me to continue playing to make the England team for 2022'
The University of Birmingham is ranked amongst the world’s top 100 institutions, and has amongst its students many talented sports men and women. A third of the senior squad for Team GB women’s hockey training towards Tokyo 2020 are either current University of Birmingham students or graduates. Additionally earlier this year the University achieved a world top ranking number 5 for research in sport and exercise sciences; the university’s students and alumni brought home 7 medals, including 4 gold medals from the Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The Birmingham 2022 Games will encourage a sporting ethos in primary and secondary schools, as well as having massively refurbished the University’s sporting facilities, providing opportunities for thousands of students. The Commonwealth Games of 2022, are a massive opportunity for Birmingham as an ever developing city, to showcase its ability to host a huge event on the world’s stage.