Celebrating a Commonwealth Games job well done - The Leamington Observer

Celebrating a Commonwealth Games job well done

Leamington Editorial 9th Aug, 2022   0

SPORTING success is being celebrated in the district.

There has been widespread acclaim for the part played by the area in hosting the Birmingham 2002 Commonwealth Games lawn bowls and para bowls competitions, together with the men’s and women’s cycle road races.

The pristine greens at Leamington’s Victoria Park saw nine days of top bowls with players, visitors and TV commentators all hugely impressed with the effort put in to prepare the venue.

And thousands lined the streets of Warwick and the surrounding countryside as some of the world’s best cyclists saddled up for some thrilling racing on Sunday.

Warwick District Council (WDC), which maintains the greens in Victoria Park, spent years gearing up for Birmingham 2022.

WDC leader Coun Andrew Day said: “The faces of our visitors beaming as they joined the events we’ve hosted across Warwick district, reflect not only the years of preparation, but the warm welcome given by hundreds of wonderful local volunteers.

“The engrossing lawn bowls and para lawn bowls competition at Victoria Park in Leamington were given a fitting finale with the cycling road races in Warwick. Warwick turned out, young and old, to once again support world class cycling and have been treated with some superb road racing. What an exciting day we’ve had witnessing amazing performances, which will no doubt inspire the next generations of cycling champions.

“It has been a joyful time to join our guests and wholeheartedly celebrate these friendly games, sharing with all 54 nations visiting our extraordinary and beautiful corner of the Commonwealth.”

Jill Heseltine, Birmingham 2022’s Venue General Manager for Victoria Park added: “The lawn bowls and para lawn bowls event was a fantastic nine days of competition showcasing Leamington and Victoria Park in all its glory. The greens looked amazing and true to their name they were exceptionally green despite being bathed in sunshine for the last three weeks or more.”

Residents also embraced the games with thousands enjoying the sporting spectacular at special festival sites in the district. The sites – in Leamington’s Pump Room Gardens and Warwick’s Market Square – were open throughout the Commonwealth Games and featured big screens showing all the action.

And the loudest roar from them came late on Sunday afternoon when Leamington’s own Lewis Williams boxed his way to a heavyweight gold medal.

The sites also offered people the opportunity to try their hand at bowls and other Commonwealth Games sports – and as a major legacy aim of the games was to encourage more young people to get sporty, they may even have contributed to setting a future champion on the road to glory.

Warwickshire County Council (WCC) was jointly involved with WDC in the mammoth effort to organise the cycling, which included closing off the two main roads linking Warwick and Leamington for a large part of the day.

WCC leader Coun Izzi Seccombe said: “Once again, Warwickshire has shown that it is the go-to county for hosting world class cycling events after the success in recent years of the Women’s Tours and the Tour of Britain.

“We have again made the most of the opportunity to showcase everything the area has to offer to an international audience. With millions watching on television around the world, the event has also been a huge boost to our international recognition.”

Hospitality and other businesses across Warwickshire have already benefitted from the influx of thousands of visitors during the games and it is hoped many more from across the world will be tempted to follow after the county was showcased to millions on TV.




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