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Other Sports - 10. August 2007.

Birmingham UK to host 2010 European Championships

The European Union of Gymnastics (UEG) has announced that the prestigious event – the third largest in the world gymnastics calendar – will take place at Birmingham’s National Indoor Arena (NIA), thanks to the combined efforts of Marketing Birmingham, Birmingham City Council, British Gymnastics and UK Sport.

Photo: (Back row (left to right) - Ian Squires (Chairman of
Marketing Birmingham), Louis Smith, Cllr Mike Whitby (Leader of Birmingham
City Council), Paul Garber (Vice President of the UEG), Beth Tweddle, Alan
Sommerville (Chief Executive of British Gymnastics).
Front row: Gymnasts from the City of Birmingham Gymnastics Club)

At the NIA Press Conference a number of speakers talked about the benefits to both British Gymnastics and The City of Birmingham that will arise through these games.

World Champion Beth Tweddle and Commonwealth Champion Louis Smith were also present to voice their delight at being given the chance to perform in front of a passionate home crowd, Beth said:
“ This is the best opportunity gymnasts can get. Giving the youngsters especially; the chance to see what its like with everyone screaming and shouting for you will be a huge boost to their performance”

Louis echoed these sentiments:
“ We are used to going to events in other countries and perhaps getting half the crowd cheering so to get everyone at home behind us would be an amazing experience.”

Paul Garber, Vice President of the UEG said:
"We are delighted to award this event to British Gymnastics and the city of Birmingham and we are looking forward to returning to the city following the successful hosting of our 2005 Congress. As well as this congress, several significant gymnastics events have been staged in Birmingham in recent years adding to the city's established reputation as a world class city of sport. We are therefore confident that the 2010 edition of the European Artistic Gymnastics Championships will be the best ever."

The two week event will be a major gymnastics event ahead of the London 2012 Olympics. It will attract around 800 of Europe’s best gymnasts from 40 countries, bring an estimated £3 million into the regional economy, and focus the attention of international media on Birmingham.

Birmingham City Council Leader Mike Whitby said:
"We are delighted to welcome the UEG to Birmingham for this prestigious event and look forward to furthering our successful partnership with British Gymnastics.

"The expected income of these Championships to the City is over £3 million which will boost our hotel, hospitality, retail and tourist industries. In addition, the fact that these Championships will be a key event ahead of the London 2012 Olympics it is extremely significant.

“I am confident that the 2010 Championships will further improve our reputation as a world class sporting city. They will once again highlight to the world the fantastic sporting facilities available for teams using Birmingham as a training base ahead of the 2012 Olympics."

Birmingham has a strong track record in gymnastics, having hosted eight major events in a range of disciplines since 1993. Most recently the FIG Trampoline and Tumbling World Cup Final took place in the city in 2006, the UEG Congress in 2005 and the FIG’s 12th Artistic Gymnastics World Cup Final in 2004. The success of these events, along with that of the European Athletics Indoor Championships held at the NIA earlier this year, has played a big part in the city securing the 2010 championships.

Ian Squires, Chairman of Marketing Birmingham said:
“Birmingham is increasingly being recognised as a city of excellence in many areas and sport is certainly at the top of the list. The 1Birmingham: We Love Our Sport campaign has been developed to strengthen this position and encourage more people in Birmingham to get involved in sport, whether as participants or spectators.

“Sporting events are high on the media’s agenda and the 2010 championships will once again project Birmingham and its sporting credentials onto an international stage, demonstrating the importance of the new subvention fund awarded to us earlier this year by Birmingham City Council, which has helped the gymnastics championships to go ahead. The added attention that the event will bring will also support the city’s hotels, restaurants, bars, shops and attractions and encourage more people to visit in the future.”

The 2010 championships are for men and women and include junior and senior categories. Titles will be up for grabs for teams, all around individuals and in the individual apparatus finals.

The event will be jointly organised by Birmingham City Council and British Gymnastics who’s Chief Executive, Alan Sommerville, said:
"It is wonderful news that the UEG have awarded their most prestigious event to British Gymnastics and the city of Birmingham and this demonstrates the UEG’s recognition of the success of the partnership developed in recent years. I know that our gymnasts will be extremely excited and motivated by the opportunity to participate in such a major event on home soil and this championships will provide them with a great taste of the atmosphere and tension that they can expect to experience just two years later at the 2012 Olympics."

The event will be part funded through UK Sport’s National Lottery backed World Class Events Programme, which has successfully supported the winning of over 100 major sporting events to the UK since 1997. UK Sport’s International Director, John Scott, said the event would provide an important link in the development pathway for UK gymnasts;
“This will be a very important stage in the development of the junior team members as they look towards competing in the senior ranks. UK Sport is focused on providing as many opportunities as possible for events such as the 2010 European Gymnastic Championships to occur on home soil to bolster the team’s confidence before vital 2012 qualification events later in the year.”

As well as experiencing the superb facilities on offer at the NIA, gymnasts participating in the 2010 championships will be able to use Birmingham’s new Gymnastics and Martial Arts Centre for training. This centre is currently being constructed at Alexander Stadium. It is being built to international gymnastics standards and is set to be completed in 2008.

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