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Sector Focus


Sport The Business of Sport


‘The Tour 21’ raises half of £1m target for charity


A cycling team riding in an event linked to the famous Tour de France has already raised half of its £1m target. The team is from Cure


2022 Games schedule released


Birmingham 2022 has released the latest version of the competition schedule for its Commonwealth Games, which will include the start and finish times for all 286 sessions, plus information about the gold medals that are up for grabs. The sporting action will start on


29 July 2022 with medal sessions on the first day confirmed for swimming, track cycling, gymnastics and triathlon, all sports in which the host nation has reigning Commonwealth champions. Last year organisers confirmed


that more medals will be awarded to women than men for the first time ever at a major multi-sport event and 7 August will be a showcase for women’s team sport in particular, with the medal matches for women’s hockey, cricket T20 and netball all taking place on the same day. The final day of competition will


be held the following day, when gold medals will be awarded in diving, table tennis, badminton, squash and hockey. The ceremonies team will be


most in demand on 2 August when nine sports will award medals and 7 August when the medallists in 11 different sports will be decided. Ama Agbeze, Team England gold medallist and chair of the Birmingham 2022 Athletes’ Advisory Committee, said: “The competition schedule for the Games is really taking shape – not only do we now know which sports will take place on each day but we also know the number of sessions and when those all important medals will be decided. “This will make the Games even


more real for all of the athletes looking to compete at Birmingham 2022, plus it provides the teams with key information to help them plan and prepare.”


66 CHAMBERLINK April 2021


Leukaemia, and will be riding this year’s ‘The Tour 21’ event, which will cover the route of the actual Tour de France a week before the real thing, in June. The Cure Leukaemia riders are


being led by former England and Wolves star Geoff Thomas, who has himself conquered blood cancer. Geoff is a veteran fundraiser for


Cure Leukaemia, and this ride will be his final Tour de France Challenge. Cure Leukaemia is the first ever


official Charity Partner of the Tour de France in the UK, and is currently dealing with a £1,500,000 fundraising shortfall in 2020, caused by the coronavirus crisis. All funds raised team will be


invested in the national Trials Acceleration Programme (TAP), which has been solely funded by Cure Leukaemia since January 2020.


TAP is a network of specialist


research nurses at 12 blood cancer centres located in the UK’s biggest cities, and runs potentially life- saving blood cancer clinical trials. Geoff Thomas said: “We all know


that this event will be gruelling and will test us to the limits but the reason we are doing it is to raise over £1,000,000 for Cure Leukaemia to claw back the £1,500,000 fundraising shortfall the charity suffered. “However tough the challenge is


for us it is nothing compared to what blood cancer patients have to go through and I know that from personal experience. “I am delighted that, as a team,


we have reached the halfway mark with our fundraising, but we must keep our foot down now to ensure we can set off from Brittany on 19 June knowing that we have exceeded £1,000,000 to sustain the TAP network and give hope to the 38,000 people diagnosed with blood cancer in the UK each year.”


Villa Park: Drop-off point for the computers for kids initiative


Fundraiser: Geoff Thomas


How football is saving the planet


Grass roots soccer organisation Birmingham County FA has teamed up with a football league that plans to save the planet. The latter is Planet Super League,


where families join and play for their favourite clubs against others – but it’s not like real football. Goals are scored by completing


Villa foundation backs digital poverty campaign


The Aston Villa Foundation is working on a new initiative to help tackle ‘digital poverty’ within the Birmingham area. The foundation has joined forces with Birmingham community interest


business Wowdot to support its efforts in providing refurbished laptops to children who would otherwise not have access to technology at home. The foundation is hoping that other local businesses and individuals


will help support the scheme, by donating old or unused laptops, which will then be refurbished and distributed to vulnerable children. There is now a drop-off point at Villa Park between 10am and 12pm each Wednesday morning for the old computers. Foundation partnerships manager Phil Ezard said: “Each laptop costs


Wowdot £300 to refurbish, so if you are unable to donate a laptop but you would still like to get involved you can donate to the cause directly if you wish. “The money will be put towards ensuring that the laptops are fit for purpose before being distributed to children around Birmingham.”


planet-saving football activities, and posting a picture on the Planet Super League social channels. The second season of the


environmentally-friendly league kicked off last month, and teams taking part include Aston Villa, Burton Albion, West Bromwich Albion and Wolverhampton Wanderers. Planet Super League CEO Tom


Gribbin said: “Planet Super League wants to help everyone take action on climate change. We organise tournaments which engage football fans to complete planet-saving football activities. “This season 24 professional


football clubs are taking part and we’re delighted to also be working with Birmingham County FA to reach football fans at the grassroots level.”


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