Brendan Foster joins Birmingham 2022 Bid team

Published: Wednesday, 19th July 2017

Commonwealth Champion and legendary long-distance athlete, Brendan Foster CBE, is today announced as the latest addition to the Birmingham 2022 Bid team.

As an Olympic bronze medallist and Commonwealth Champion, in the 10,000m in Edmonton, Foster brings valuable insight from an elite athlete’s perspective. His contribution is further enhanced by his sports business expertise gained from founding and managing the successful mass-participation sports event company, Great Run.

It is Great Run’s involvement with the city of Birmingham, helping to build its reputation as the City of Running, that has endeared Birmingham to Foster and helped cement his support. Foster and Great Run have been responsible for the Great Birmingham Run, Great Birmingham 10k and this autumn’s inaugural Birmingham International Marathon.

Foster will shortly be hanging up the microphone as part of his role on the BBC Sport commentary team. This summer’s London 2017 IAAF World Championship will be his last major athletics event, meaning he has more time to back Birmingham’s bid for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Brendan Foster CBE, Olympic medallist, Commonwealth Champion and Founder of the Great Run Company, said:

“When Ian Ward invited me to join the Birmingham 2022 Bid team I was delighted to accept.

“Birmingham is an ambitious, vibrant city with a great sporting heritage and I believe the ideal location to host such a prestigious global event.”

“Our company has a strong relationship with Birmingham through organising Great Run events in recent years and in October we’ll be staging the first marathon in the city for 28 years.”

Cllr Ian Ward, Deputy Leader Birmingham City Council and Chair, Birmingham Commonwealth Games Steering Group, said:

“We are thrilled that Brendan is joining our team to help secure the Commonwealth Games for Birmingham.

“His knowledge, both as a former athlete and as a business professional, will be a boost to our efforts. In recent years, with the Great Birmingham Run and the forthcoming Birmingham International Marathon in October, we have worked closely with Brendan and his team and have seen them deliver some outstanding events for the city.

“We have a strong team working hard to bring the Games to Birmingham. With 95% of our venues already available, combined with our expertise at delivering world class sporting events, and our position as heart of the UK, soul of the Commonwealth, we are in a good position. The more support we can get the better.”

Foster joins the existing Birmingham 2022 Bid team, which includes:

  • Ian Ward, Deputy Leader and Bid Chair, Birmingham City Council (BCC)
  • Anita Bhalla, Chair, Performances Birmingham Ltd and Board Member, Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP
  • Niels de Vos, Chief Executive, UK Athletics
  • Paul Faulkner, CEO, Birmingham Chamber of Commerce
  • Steve Hollingworth, Head of Sport, BCC
  • Phil Mead, Arenas Managing Director, NEC Group
  • Waheed Nazir, Director of Planning & Regeneration, BCC
  • Sir John Peace, Chairman, Midlands Engine
  • Neil Rami, Chief Executive, West Midlands Growth Company
  • Martin Reeves, Chief Executive, West Midlands Combined Authority
  • Neil Snowball, Chief Executive, Warwickshire Cricket Club
  • Paul Thandi, CEO, NEC Group
  • Zena Wooldridge, Director of Sport, University of Birmingham
  • Fontaine Chapman, No 1 ranked England Women’s Singles Badminton Player

Birmingham’s bid has the full support of: Birmingham City Council; three regional local enterprise partnerships: Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP; Black Country LEP; Coventry and Warwickshire LEP; the West Midlands Combined Authority and the newly elected Mayor of West Midlands, Andy Street; the West Midlands Growth Company; and the Midlands Engine .

Backing #BrumBid2022

How you can support Birmingham 2022:

  • Follow us on Twitter (@birminghamcg22)
  • Like us on Facebook (Birmingham2022)
  • Join in the conversation (#BrumBid2022)
  • Visit the website (

About the Birmingham 2022 Bid

Sitting at the heart of the UK, and standing for the diversity of the Commonwealth, Birmingham is well positioned to attract people to the Games and to ensure that the benefits of hosting extend from the city and the region, to the UK, to the Commonwealth. The advancement of the UK’s global role and the Commonwealth movement is integral to our vision of Birmingham: heart of the UK, soul of the Commonwealth.

Birmingham 2022 will comprise 20 sports taking place across 19 venues. These sports and venues were selected following careful assessment of Commonwealth Games Federation guidelines regarding athletes’ needs, the technical specifications, seating capacity and Games-time logistics.

As part of the selection process, the bid committee looked closely at how to utilise Birmingham’s wealth of existing sports venues and facilities, ensuring connectivity and accessibility and maximising spectator numbers.

The list of sports below showcases all those we have announced publicly so far. More sports and venues will be announced in due course:

Sports and venues announced publicly so far



Athletics, incl Para

Alexander Stadium

Aquatics, incl Para and Diving

New Sandwell Aquatics Centre


Genting Arena


NEC Hall 1

Gymnastics (Artistic and Rhythmic)

Barclaycard Arena


University of Birmingham


NEC Hall 4


Ericsson Indoor Arena, at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry

Rugby 7s

Villa Park Stadium


University of Birmingham

Table Tennis, incl Para

NEC Hall 5

Weightlifting and Para Powerlifting

Symphony Hall

Wrestling (freestyle)

NEC Hall 4

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