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JULY 7 - 13, 2011 THE VOICE  25

 Man with a plan

 A fair exchange

 University challenge

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26  THE VOICE JULY 7 - 13, 2011

READY FOR THE WORLD West Midlands set to benefit in more ways than one By Rodney Hinds

AS YOU make your way through the streets of Birmingham it would be fair to say that Olympic 2012 fever has taken hold. There’s a remarkable level of excitement, which is even more noteworthy bearing in mind that the city is not actually staging the greatest show on earth. But what it is doing is proudly hosting the Jamaica and USA track and field teams which is said to be worth about £20m to the city’s economy, the council has suggested. Some 273 different organisations in the West Midlands have

won tenders to supply goods or services to London 2012 directly, or supply projects related to the London 2012 Games. The 60 members of the Jamaican track and field team, including the world’s fastest man, Usain Bolt, will be based at the University of Birmingham. The 160-strong US track and field team will train in and around the city. Star names such as Tyson Gay, Sanya RichardsRoss and Allyson Felix will also be welcomed with open arms. The Olympic torch relay will stop in Birmingham as it makes its way around the UK ahead of the 2012 Games.

WELCOME: America’s Sanya Richards-Ross

The Olympic torch’s arrival in the city on June 30 2012 will be marked by an evening of celebrations. The city council said it had not yet been decided what celebrations would accompany the flame’s arrival in the city, but it was likely to be a celebration of the city’s sporting heritage and ambitions for future sporting glory. While the hunt for Olympic tickets has seemingly engulfed London, 100 or so miles away Birmingham has embraced the countless opportunities that have presented themselves. Hosting arguably the two finest track and field teams in the world has been the catalyst for good. That said, some Birmingham residents have implored the council to listen to their respective ideas and keep the lines of dialogue open so all can benefit. While the Olympics’ sporting deeds will be well documented those in the second city are keen that the all important legacy issue is satisfied. The Olympic cake will not suit every palate but the Games coming to London is a once-ina-lifetime opportunity. Birmingham deserve great credit for it’s own vision.

EXCITING TIMES AHEAD: The city of Birmingham

Creating Birmingham’s 2012 legacy…help needed THE CITY council is gathering information on all 2012 related activities in Birmingham. This is your chance to showcase any activities, events, and programmes that you are planning or have already planned that are linked to 2012 and are being held in Birmingham. This information will be available online so that the people of Birmingham can look for an Olympic opportunity at a time and place that

suits them. Also if you are planning events that will increase participation in sport and physical activity in Olympic year let the council know. You can download the form at www.birmingham.gov.uk/2012legacy. On completion, please send the form to 2012legacy@birmingham.gov.uk. For further information please contact Bryn Lewis on 0121 464 0207 or 07826 873 425.


JULY 7 - 13, 2011 THE VOICE  27

By Rodney Hinds

PLOTTING AND planning many aspects of the Jamaican and USA camps in Birmingham next year is Steve Hollingsworth, Assistant Director for Sport and Events at Birmingham City Council. There were many compelling reasons why Birmingham wanted to host arguably the two foremost track and field teams in the world. Hollingsworth took time out of his busy schedule to explain: “From the start Birmingham had a plan on which camps we wanted to get. “It was a case of getting the world’s best which would have been high profile for the city but also looking for camps that had synergy with the city. “Getting Jamaica has opened up the whole community and raised the expectation and profile of the Birmingham.” Planning began in 2007. Thereafter negotiations with Howard Aris of the JAAA took place while Birmingham’s city council leader, Mike Whitby, went to Jamaica to meet some of country’s politicians, particularly the Minister for Culture, Youth and Sport, Olivia Grange. Three years later, in February 2010, the signing of contracts coincided with Birmingham’s indoor Grand Prix at the NIA. Hollingsworth added: “The plan is to deliver an excellent camp which we will do along with the university. But it is also

MAN WITH A PLAN Vision pays off for second city

BUSY: Steve Hollingsworth

about supporting Jamaican athletics development “To that end we will sponsor Jamaica’s open meeting for three years to help the country develop athletes for the future but it also gives Birmingham a profile in Jamaica and of course it means that the city is a good place for Jamaicans to stay during the Olympics.

“Minister Grange has taken a lot of interest in the city, particularly looking at youth, sport and culture. The cultural programme has grown significantly. “Charles Small at The Drum has helped us co-ordinate and chair a cultural group so there are lots of activities going on next year.”

There are over 70,000 Jamaicans in the second city and they, and others from the Caribbean, have much to look forward to over the next 12 months. “There will be a Jamaican Village in Victoria Square from August 2-12. There will be a big screen, so we can show the heats of the sprints and the

100m final on August 5 and 200m final on August 12 “The Village will largely be about food and drink but tourism and business as well.” In terms of the sport, the main legacy has been a sports exchange programme. Bryn Lewis, the Jamaica athletics exchange manager, said: “We are tryng to recreate the

Gibson Relays in Birmingham. It’s going to take time but everybody has been so blown away by the fact that the stadium was full (in Jamaica) for a schools event.” The athletics exchange has whetted the apetite with more in the offing. Hollingsworth said: “We are pursuing a cricket exchange through Sted Wallen in the autumn. “We are also working with some ex professionals at Birmingham City and Aston Villa football clubs. “Ian Taylor and Michael Johnson are keen to get something going for October half term this year. It is a tall order but I think we will do it. “Minister Grange is also keen on the educational exchange. Grace Jackson from the University of the West Indies has been over a few times talking to the director of sport at the University of Birmingham. “One of the other things we are looking to pursue is possibly a coaches conference before the Olympics. We would bring over some of the top coaches from Jamaica. “Clearly there is some mileage. Bringing over coaches such as Glen Mills would make them familiar with the camp. But we need to do some work on that.” * A Fair Exchange - see pages 28 and 37.


28  THE VOICE JULY 7 - 13, 2011

JULY 7 - 13, 2011 THE VOICE  37

A FAIR

PRACTICE MAKES..: Baton changing in the sun

EXCHANGE IN MARCH 2011 as part of the Birmingham Jamaica Sports Legacy Exchange Programme, Birmingham were invited by the Jamaica Amateur Athletic Association to take a team of sprinters representing Birmingham to compete in the Gibson Relays which is the premier schools sprint relay meeting, bringing schools from all over Jamaica to Kingston for a festival of sprinting. Amongst the trip’s aims was to exchange coaching knowledge between Jamaican and English coaches and create a lasting link for the future. Twenty-two athletes from Birmingham schools made the historic visit to Jamaica and Bryn Lewis, senior competition manager and Jamaica athletics legacy exchange manager, explained the thinking behind the exchange: “It was to inspire our athletes to greater levels of performance, and to create opportunities for our talent to

FRIENDSHIP FACTOR: Some of Birmingham’s athletes with Olivia Grange (third from right), Minister for Culture, Sport and Youth

be linked to athletics clubs. “We also wanted to use the experience enjoyed by our staff, team and our athletes to inspire young people and coaches back in their communities.” The exchange, said Lewis,

could not have gtaken place without the vision and hard work of many in Jamaica, including Olivia Grange, Minister for Culture, Sport and Youth, Howard Aris, President of the Jamaica Amateur Athletic

VISITORS: Team Birmingham

Association and Xavier Brown of the Sprinter Racers Track Club Team who have Usain Bolt

in their ranks. All schools and colleges were given information about the

Birmingham Athletics Legacy Exchange Programme therefore raising the profile of the work

that Birmingham city council have done on the Olympic training camps and the exchange

programme. The visiting athletes were selected from 22 different

schools in Birmingham through a trial in November 2010 at the University of Birmingham

showing that the process engaged with schools right across the city. The programme has strengthened links between Birmingham city council and a number of partners including athletics clubs Birchfield Harriers, Birmingham Row Heath, Sparkhill Harriers, and the University of Birmingham. The programme also created links with a number of sponsors including, Puma, Grace Foods and Advantage West Midlands. The Birmingham team per-

formed well in the Gibson Relays in conditions that were far hotter than they were used to. There were two male teams and two female teams. All teams finished in the top half of entries. The under-19 boys team narrowly missed out on qualification for the final by 1/100th of a second after a brilliant performance. The reputation of Team Birmingham spread very quickly across Jamaica and on the day of the Gibson Relays the crowd were very supportive.

Team Birmingham received excellent media coverage while in Jamaica including a number of newspaper articles, and a special feature in the leading young people’s magazine. They were also featured on TV both on the day of the dedication of the new track and when they met Minister Grange. Team Birmingham were also guests of honour at the dedication of the new blue track at the National Stadium and the athletes were the first allowed on the new surface. Team Birmingham athletes have all been inspired by the dedication and training that Jamaican athletes and coaches put in and subsequently their training hours have increased since their return. Team Birmingham coaches now have regular discussions with Jamaican coaches. Team Birmingham received an excellent view of Jamaican culture and life and are now dedicated ambassadors to help inspire other young people. Athletes and coaches are involved in planning a celebration evening to thank sponsors and plan the return leg of the exchange. Hamstead Hall Community Learning Centre and Hall Green School have set up direct links with Spot Valley High School in Jamaica and this will form a fundamental part of the return exchange programme.

256289,4"$*(49/ %4()98569&9807 ,/'#*)989971370367889985-1.99+/!498

Ready to polish up a Diamond

WHATS ON IN BIRMINGHAM

By Rodney Hinds

SPORTING HISTORY will be made this Sunday. For the first time ever the Aviva British Grand Prix is coming to Birmingham and, as part

Aviva Trials and UK Championships 29th – 31st July, Birmingham Alexander Stadium

The Aviva GB and NI team will return to the Alexander Stadium aiming to be crowned national champions and in turn book their spot on the plane to Daegu for the IAAF World Championships.

Ticket hotline: 08000 55 60 56

PING! Birmingham

Birmingham Carnival

8th July – 8th August

Sunday 7th August

55 ping pong tables will pop up across public spaces, train stations, shopping centres and cafes. Tables will appear all over Birmingham from the Arcadian to Aston Villa, Victoria Square to Cadbury World. For more info and a table map go to

Birmingham Carnival is a festival celebrating African Carribean culture, art, food and entertainment. Everyone is welcome, the procession starts from Handsworth Park to Perry Park, led by a new carnival queen.

www.pingbrum.co.uk

Trampoline and Tumbling World Championships, 17 -27th November 2011, National Indoor Arena Watch the Olympic qualifying competition for trampolining plus the best in tumbling from around the world. To buy your tickets visit www.birminghamtt2011.com

STAR: Powell

of the Samsung Diamond League, it promises to be a thriller. The ninth stop of the premier global athletics series will be bubbling over as athletics’ biggest stars take over Birmingham. Andreas Thorkildsen and Carmelita Jeter are the latest big names to join the star-studded lineup. Sadly the possible rematch of Asafa Powell against Tyson Gay, the contest that set the Aviva British Grand Prix alight in 2010, is a doubt due to Gay sustaining a recent injury. However, Sunday’s event will see the world’s best athletes arrive in the West Midlands. British stars competing will include Mo Farah, Phillips Idowu, Christine Ohuruogu, and Tiffany Ofili-Porter. What’s more, Jamaican and American athletes will be keen to acquaint themselves with a city they are bound for the following year, when Birmingham becomes the preOlympic holding camp for both the USA and Jamaican teams. England’s opening Diamond League meeting in 2011 has been moved from Gateshead to Birmingham.

I CUT BACK ON SALT– NOT LIFE IN ACTION: Ofili-Porter

This year’s inaugural Diamond League featured races in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the United States. The Diamond League replaced the Golden League, which ran from 1998-2009. The first Golden League event comprised six meetings, which became seven for the remainder of its existence. There are 32 individual events in each of the 14 meetings in the current format, 16 for men and 16 for women, with points awarded at each to give an overall winner in every discipline.

Registered charity in England and Wales (225971) and in Scotland (SC039426)


28  THE VOICE JULY 7 - 13, 2011

JULY 7 - 13, 2011 THE VOICE  37

A FAIR

PRACTICE MAKES..: Baton changing in the sun

EXCHANGE IN MARCH 2011 as part of the Birmingham Jamaica Sports Legacy Exchange Programme, Birmingham were invited by the Jamaica Amateur Athletic Association to take a team of sprinters representing Birmingham to compete in the Gibson Relays which is the premier schools sprint relay meeting, bringing schools from all over Jamaica to Kingston for a festival of sprinting. Amongst the trip’s aims was to exchange coaching knowledge between Jamaican and English coaches and create a lasting link for the future. Twenty-two athletes from Birmingham schools made the historic visit to Jamaica and Bryn Lewis, senior competition manager and Jamaica athletics legacy exchange manager, explained the thinking behind the exchange: “It was to inspire our athletes to greater levels of performance, and to create opportunities for our talent to

FRIENDSHIP FACTOR: Some of Birmingham’s athletes with Olivia Grange (third from right), Minister for Culture, Sport and Youth

be linked to athletics clubs. “We also wanted to use the experience enjoyed by our staff, team and our athletes to inspire young people and coaches back in their communities.” The exchange, said Lewis,

could not have gtaken place without the vision and hard work of many in Jamaica, including Olivia Grange, Minister for Culture, Sport and Youth, Howard Aris, President of the Jamaica Amateur Athletic

VISITORS: Team Birmingham

Association and Xavier Brown of the Sprinter Racers Track Club Team who have Usain Bolt

in their ranks. All schools and colleges were given information about the

Birmingham Athletics Legacy Exchange Programme therefore raising the profile of the work

that Birmingham city council have done on the Olympic training camps and the exchange

programme. The visiting athletes were selected from 22 different

schools in Birmingham through a trial in November 2010 at the University of Birmingham

showing that the process engaged with schools right across the city. The programme has strengthened links between Birmingham city council and a number of partners including athletics clubs Birchfield Harriers, Birmingham Row Heath, Sparkhill Harriers, and the University of Birmingham. The programme also created links with a number of sponsors including, Puma, Grace Foods and Advantage West Midlands. The Birmingham team per-

formed well in the Gibson Relays in conditions that were far hotter than they were used to. There were two male teams and two female teams. All teams finished in the top half of entries. The under-19 boys team narrowly missed out on qualification for the final by 1/100th of a second after a brilliant performance. The reputation of Team Birmingham spread very quickly across Jamaica and on the day of the Gibson Relays the crowd were very supportive.

Team Birmingham received excellent media coverage while in Jamaica including a number of newspaper articles, and a special feature in the leading young people’s magazine. They were also featured on TV both on the day of the dedication of the new track and when they met Minister Grange. Team Birmingham were also guests of honour at the dedication of the new blue track at the National Stadium and the athletes were the first allowed on the new surface. Team Birmingham athletes have all been inspired by the dedication and training that Jamaican athletes and coaches put in and subsequently their training hours have increased since their return. Team Birmingham coaches now have regular discussions with Jamaican coaches. Team Birmingham received an excellent view of Jamaican culture and life and are now dedicated ambassadors to help inspire other young people. Athletes and coaches are involved in planning a celebration evening to thank sponsors and plan the return leg of the exchange. Hamstead Hall Community Learning Centre and Hall Green School have set up direct links with Spot Valley High School in Jamaica and this will form a fundamental part of the return exchange programme.

256289,4"$*(49/ %4()98569&9807 ,/'#*)989971370367889985-1.99+/!498

Ready to polish up a Diamond

WHATS ON IN BIRMINGHAM

By Rodney Hinds

SPORTING HISTORY will be made this Sunday. For the first time ever the Aviva British Grand Prix is coming to Birmingham and, as part

Aviva Trials and UK Championships 29th – 31st July, Birmingham Alexander Stadium

The Aviva GB and NI team will return to the Alexander Stadium aiming to be crowned national champions and in turn book their spot on the plane to Daegu for the IAAF World Championships.

Ticket hotline: 08000 55 60 56

PING! Birmingham

Birmingham Carnival

8th July – 8th August

Sunday 7th August

55 ping pong tables will pop up across public spaces, train stations, shopping centres and cafes. Tables will appear all over Birmingham from the Arcadian to Aston Villa, Victoria Square to Cadbury World. For more info and a table map go to

Birmingham Carnival is a festival celebrating African Carribean culture, art, food and entertainment. Everyone is welcome, the procession starts from Handsworth Park to Perry Park, led by a new carnival queen.

www.pingbrum.co.uk

Trampoline and Tumbling World Championships, 17 -27th November 2011, National Indoor Arena Watch the Olympic qualifying competition for trampolining plus the best in tumbling from around the world. To buy your tickets visit www.birminghamtt2011.com

STAR: Powell

of the Samsung Diamond League, it promises to be a thriller. The ninth stop of the premier global athletics series will be bubbling over as athletics’ biggest stars take over Birmingham. Andreas Thorkildsen and Carmelita Jeter are the latest big names to join the star-studded lineup. Sadly the possible rematch of Asafa Powell against Tyson Gay, the contest that set the Aviva British Grand Prix alight in 2010, is a doubt due to Gay sustaining a recent injury. However, Sunday’s event will see the world’s best athletes arrive in the West Midlands. British stars competing will include Mo Farah, Phillips Idowu, Christine Ohuruogu, and Tiffany Ofili-Porter. What’s more, Jamaican and American athletes will be keen to acquaint themselves with a city they are bound for the following year, when Birmingham becomes the preOlympic holding camp for both the USA and Jamaican teams. England’s opening Diamond League meeting in 2011 has been moved from Gateshead to Birmingham.

I CUT BACK ON SALT– NOT LIFE IN ACTION: Ofili-Porter

This year’s inaugural Diamond League featured races in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the United States. The Diamond League replaced the Golden League, which ran from 1998-2009. The first Golden League event comprised six meetings, which became seven for the remainder of its existence. There are 32 individual events in each of the 14 meetings in the current format, 16 for men and 16 for women, with points awarded at each to give an overall winner in every discipline.

Registered charity in England and Wales (225971) and in Scotland (SC039426)


38  THE VOICE JULY 7 - 13, 2011

A WINNING FEELING City bursting with pride but there is a demand for legacy By Rodney Hinds

THERE IS a distinct sense of pride emanating through Birmingham right now. The reason for this lies with the fact that the second city will host both Jamaica and America’s track and field squads days just weeks prior to the greatest show on earth – the London 2012 Olympic Games. Both training camps will see the city provide the two teams with a positive environment before they embark on the pursuit of medals. But while Birmingham will provide athletes and officials with something akin to a home from home from next July, the AfricanCaribbean community in the city will also benefit according to two residents. Ken Ivey, managing director of his own mechanics business, said: “There is a real buzz just now but I admit going back INSPIRATION: Bolt six months it was all pretty low key.

WELCOME: Birmingham is happy to host Jamaica’s athletes

“To his credit Mike Whitby (council leader) that will continue. “Without legacy we are just going to have a came out loud clear with some plans and gave out some incentives for black businesses to take good time and then bang, it’s all over! It’s going to be like the Queen’s birthday; we party and then part and hopefully to grow. “He was talking about post and pre Olympics, it’s a case of back to work the next day. Brown said: “It’s about people re-focusing which is good,” said Ivey who hails from the and putting their energy to things that are more Handsworth Wood area. Peak peformance coach, Jacynth Brown from positive. “There’s a lot of work going on in terms Mosley, agreed: “The community has of role models and mentoring, busistarted to unite. There is focus ness and social skills within the knowing that the Jamaican community groups. athletes are coming. “There are lots of initiatives “There’s a feelgood factrying to get the young peotor. There was not disple involved in a good way. unity before but people There’s a lot of focus on were just doing their gun crime and disaffected own thing. youths, but there are a lot “There’s now comof other youths out there munity groups talkas well that if we don’t ing with each other capture and engage and perhaps looking potentially could go the at how they can wrong way.” work together With Jamaica’s track towards potential and field fraternity preparopportunities.” ing for the Games in The Games were sold PROUD: Jacynth Brown and Ken Ivey Birmingham, it means that the to the nation on two tickfastest man in the world, sprint ets; diversity and legacy. king Usain Bolt, will become a an And the feeling is that much adopted Brummie. Both Ivey and Brown has to be done to see them become think that is a good thing! winning tickets according to Ivey. Describing their feelings on hearing the news He added: “If the council embraced the community more we could go even further in terms that Jamaica’s athletes were coming to the city, Ivey enthused: “We were elated. It was really fanof legacy. “I would hate it to be just talk but that has got tastic news. “I think Usain Bolt is having the same effect on to come from the top. “I think there are people who are willing to get young black men as Barack Obama. “To know he’s going to be in Birmingham is involved. There just needs to be more dialogue.” Hosting two glamorous training camps has just great.” “It gives us permission to party and promote done much to give the city’s youth a boost too. “I definitely think, no I know, that some of the ourselves,” added Brown. “Sport is a medium for youth are focused on what is going on in so much. “There is a great sense of pride and good for Birmingham right now in terms of the Olympics,” Birmingham itself. People that saw us negatively said Ivey “There were two gangs in Birmingham and they can now see what we can do and achieve they used to always be at it – I don’t see that so given the chance,” concluded Ivey. “Given the chance we can excel and this is a much now. “There’s definitely a thread of change. I hope chance.”


JULY 7 - 13, 2011 THE VOICE  39

EXCITED: The University’s director of sport, Zena Wooldridge, with Voice sports editor, Rodney Hinds COUP: Birmingham council leader, Mike Whitby

University challenge ‘Relaxing’ holding camp key to Olympic success

By Rodney Hinds

WHEN JAMAICA’S athletes claim their medals at the 2012 Olympics, Birmingham will have played a part. The University of Birmingham is Jamaica’s camp prior to the greatest show on earth after Birmingham City Council and the Jamaica Amateur Athletic Association reached agreement. The Jamaica outfit should nestle at the University in the first week of July next year and this correspondent, after a tour of the facilities, is of the opinion that they are in good hands. Zena Wooldrige, the University’s director of sport, said: “We are very proud. Of all the teams we could have attracted to come here, Jamaica would have been top of

the list. “There’s a real buzz in terms of the Jamaicans coming here. It’s been a great boost for the campus, staff and students “They will be staying in a high quality facility. That includes the food, track and accommodation.” The Jamaicans will certainly have time to relax. The facility, with its well manicured gardens, will be a real home from home. “It will be an important few weeks for the athletes just prior to heading to London for the Olympics,” added Wooldridge. “We want to make a good impression on the Jamaican team. We

ON TRACK FOR SUCCESS: The University’s track

want them to feel that staying at the university has been part of their success.” No doubt Jamaica’s legion of fans, and not just from Birmingham, will attempt to get a glimpse of the team. “Security will be tight as we want to preserve their privacy but there will be times when they want to communicate with the community and this will need to be carefully programmed. We’ll manage it all as carefully as we can.” Council leader Mike Whitby added: “This is another major coup for the city of Birmingham. “I’m absolutely delighted with the deal, which is the culmination of a great deal of hard work and testament to our growing political, sporting and business links in Jamaica. “The fact that Usain

PLACE OF CALM: Well manicured gardens will enable the athletes to relax

Bolt and his team mates will be in Birmingham as they prepare to defend their Olympic crowns means the eyes of the world will be on our city.” The city will also host the USA track and field team and Whitby added: “The media spotlight on Jamaica and the Americans will showcase our great city and I’m confident we can secure a longterm and lasting legacy from these deals.”


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Birmingham All Sports 2011  

Birmingham gets ready for London Olympics 2012

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