Leamington has been chosen as one of the venues in Birmingham’s bid for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
If successful, the move will attract tourists, spectators and athletes from around the world and give the town an economic boost.
The announcement was made today (Thursday) at Leamington’s Victoria Park, home of Bowls England and the English National Bowls Championships, which has been selected as the Lawn Bowls and Para Lawn Bowls venue in Birmingham’s 2022 bid.
For nearly 40 years Leamington played host to the Women’s National Bowls Championships in Victoria Park, which was opened in 1899 to mark Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee.
In 2013 Warwick District Council and Bowls England signed a contract to extend the event to include the Men’s National Championships from 2014 for 10 years.
Five existing world-class greens will be used across the Lawn Bowls and Para Lawn Bowls competitions, including a showcase finals green.
The announcement at Victoria Park coincided with both the ongoing English National Bowls Championships (taking place until September 3), and a visit from the Queen’s Baton Relay, which is currently touring the UK ahead of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Tony Allcock MBE, Chief Executive, Bowls England, said: “Hosting the Commonwealth Games Bowls fixtures at the home of Lawn Bowls in England would be an incredible experience. We have worked hard to create a world-class venue that has delivered the women’s World Championships twice as well as annually hosting the National Championships.
“Having competed in, coached for and managed Commonwealth Games Lawn Bowls I know what it takes to deliver a great championship and I have every confidence that Birmingham 2022 would deliver a fantastic Commonwealth Games.”
Cllr Michael Coker, from Warwick District Council, said: “We are thrilled that the Birmingham 2022 Bid team has recognised the world-class greens at Victoria Park and chosen Leamington to host its Lawn Bowls and Para Lawn Bowls competition.
“With its picturesque pavilion and beautiful parks and gardens, Leamington will provide a stunning backdrop to this quintessentially English sport, which we know will appeal to fans, tourists and media alike.
“Birmingham’s bid will bring benefits to the whole region so we encourage everyone to get behind it and help us bring the Games to our own doorsteps.”
Ian Ward, chair of the Commonwealth Games Bid Company, said: “We are incredibly privileged to have so many existing international standard sports venues within the region, including this former Lawn Bowls World Championships host venue at Victoria Park.
“It will provide a spectacular home to our Lawn Bowls and Para Lawn Bowls competition.
“We are proud to partner with Warwick District Council and Bowls England to include Victoria Park as part of our bid and are delighted that the benefits of a Birmingham 2022 Games will reach far and wide across the region.”