Global conference on women’s sport comes to Birmingham – Business Live

A major international conference about women’s sport is coming to Birmingham.

The city has won the bid to host the quadrennial International Working Group World Conference on Women & Sport in 2026 which will welcome 1,200 delegates such as sports organisations, media, athletes and governments.

The news comes as the city enters the final 12 months before stepping into the world’s gaze as it hosts the 2022 Commonwealth Games next July and August.

The conference is claimed to be the world’s largest of its kind dedicated to gender equity and equality in sport and physical activity and will take place at the International Convention Centre (ICC) in Broad Street.

The event aims to use the power of sport and physical activity to drive positive social change for women and girls and improve their health and wellbeing.

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The global conference will be the climax of four years of events, campaigns and programmes throughout the UK.

The successful bid was led by the Sport and Recreation Alliance in partnership with the West Midlands Growth Company, Birmingham City Council, West Midlands Combined Authority, Sport Birmingham, University of Birmingham and the ICC.

Sporting venues including Aston Villa Football Club and Edgbaston Stadium were also involved in the bid process.

Birmingham is the first UK city to host the conference since its inaugural event in Brighton in 1994 since when it has visited cities in Canada, Japan, Australia and Finland among others.

Regional inward investment body West Midlands Growth Company said it expected the event would provide a £1.6 million economic boost to the city.

Chief executive Neil Rami said: “We are honoured to have been selected to deliver an outstanding event.

“We all look forward to being part of a global event which will put Birmingham in the spotlight, supporting employment, business skills and societal change.”

Ian Taylor, managing director of NEC Group conventions and exhibitions which owns the ICC, added: “The successful bid to host the conference shows how the city and region can come together and work in partnership to win major events.

“This conference will set an ambitious agenda and I have no doubt that Birmingham and the wider region will take the opportunity it provides to inspire a better world of sport and physical activity.”

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