British Gymnastics Championships At Echo Arena Liverpool Credit David Munn
Image credit David Munn

Liverpool bids for World Gymnastics Championships

The city is teaming up with UK Sport and British Gymnastics in a bid to host the 2022 World Gymnastics Championships.

Liverpool City Council’s cabinet is set to endorse British Gymnastics’ bid to the Federation of International Gymnastics tomorrow. If successful, the tournament would bring together 700 gymnasts from over 80 nations for 10 days of competition in the city, generating an estimated 15,000 overnight stays and, the council said, a £6m boost to the local economy.

This would be the largest sporting event held yet at the Echo Arena complex, which has annually hosted the British Gymnastics Championships since 2012 and will host the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards this Sunday.

The venue, which has also held Davis Cup tennis matches, will continue to host the British Championships until 2022. The bid follows on from Liverpool’s unsuccessful bid for the 2022 Commonwealth Games, which had the gymnastics pencilled in for the same venue.

Liverpool’s city mayor Joe Anderson said: “The World Gymnastics Championships in 2022 would be a huge sporting occasion for Liverpool and an opportunity to showcase the city to a global audience.

“Liverpool has a fantastic track record in nurturing gymnastic talent like triple world champion Beth Tweddle and we’ve fostered a great relationship with British Gymnastics by hosting its championships since 2012, so a 2022 World Championship would be great way to celebrate a decade long journey.

“A lot of hard work remains to be done. We have world class facilities, brilliant partners in the city and in British Gymnastics and UK Sport, and we have the x-factor in our passionate crowds who are second to none, so I can guarantee we would give the sport of gymnastics a World Championships to remember.”

Liverpool’s partners in the bid regard the city’s ability to co-locate all competition and training facilities at the Kings Dock as a major asset, effectively offering on-campus hotels which mean minimal transport requirements for athletes, coaching staff and judges.

The city also needs to cater for those travelling to watch the competition, and the bid will encourage those with plans to add to the burgeoning Liverpool hotel market. YPG secured consent in June for 114 serviced apartments in Renshaw Street, while the Elliott Group and Vincent Hotels are working together in the Ropewalks and Baltic Triangle. In August, Roomzzz applied to start its first Liverpool scheme, at the George Henry Lee building.

The World Gymnastics Championships were last held in the UK in 2015, when Glasgow attracted a worldwide audience of 665m viewers. The 2022 championships will have added weight, being the first event for nations to qualify for the 2024 Olympics in Paris.

Esther Britten, head of major events of UK Sport, said: “Bidding forms part of our ambitious strategy to invest National Lottery funding to maintain the UK as a world-leading host of innovative and inspirational international sporting events.

“Seven years on from successfully hosting the 2015 Championships in Glasgow, we look forward to working in partnership with British Gymnastics, City of Liverpool and the FIG on the 2022 edition.”

The FIG is expected to announce the winning bid at its next council meeting in Istanbul in May 2018.

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Bit of a soft story this. Where’s the property angle? One line about kings dock?

By Gav


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