British Cycling is pleased to announce that Birmingham will host the UCI BMX World Championships in 2012, bringing the most prestigious annual BMX competition to the UK just ahead of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The UCI BMX World Championships will be held at the National Indoor Arena on 24 – 27 May, one of the busiest, large scale indoor sporting and entertainment venues in the UK, offering BMX enthusiasts the last chance to see the world’s best riders in action before they compete in the Olympics in August.
Birmingham has been awarded the competition thanks to its central location, strong infrastructure and first class sport facilities, having fought off stiff competition from Copenhagen (Denmark), Auckland (New Zealand) and Rotterdam (Holland).
The bid to host the event in the UK was also successful due to the combined commitment of British Cycling and Birmingham City Council to use the competition to create a lasting legacy for the BMX discipline in Birmingham and nationwide, inspiring participation in the sport.
Ian Drake, CEO at British Cycling, commented: “This is a fantastic day for the BMX discipline and we are delighted with UCI’s decision. Holding the UCI BMX World Championships on UK soil shows how committed we are to growing the BMX discipline in this country. The event will present a great opportunity for people to engage with BMX on their doorstep and will prompt a significant investment into the discipline through the development of world-class facilities. Ultimately, it’s about encouraging youngsters to get on their bike and creating a lasting legacy. I am confident the continued success of our athletes will help us do just that by inspiring new generations of BMX riders for many years to come.”
UCI President, Pat McQuaid, commented: “We are delighted that the UCI BMX World Championships 2012 has been awarded to Birmingham. Great Britain is one of the leaders in this young spectacular discipline and we are sure that this event, staged in the heart of UK’s largest city, will build on this trend. I am confident that, with the expertise and the enthusiasm of British Cycling and all other partners involved in this great project, we will offer a fantastic edition of the Championships to the worldwide BMX community. With the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games taking place just several months later, the Championships will be held in a truly magic atmosphere Well done all and thank you Birmingham!”
Councillor Martin Mullaney, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Sport and Culture, said: “This is fantastic news for the city, we are looking forward to staging such a prestigious event in Birmingham. Our track record of hosting major events is second to none and we expect this to be another hugely successful event just three months prior to the 2012 London Olympics. The lasting legacy of the Birmingham BMX track being built in Perry Park means that the people of Birmingham will not only get to watch the world’s best BMX riders competing in the city but will also have a first class venue to take part in the sport on as well.”
UK Sport’s Senior Events Consultant, Simon Morton, said: “We are delighted that the UK has won the right to host the UCI BMX World Championships in 2012. This is an important competition in our wider programme of world-class events, which is designed to help prepare the UK for staging a home Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012. Through our National Lottery funded World Class Events Programme, we have awarded a grant of up to ?300,000 towards the staging costs of this event. This is an important qualification event for 2012 which British Cycling,."
Birmingham City Council and UK Sport are currently awaiting the result of their bid to host a round of the UEC European BMX Championships in 2011, which would provide a test event for the UCI BMX World Championships in 2012 and create additional opportunities to put BMX firmly on the UK map.