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Birmingham is embracing a bright future supported by extraordinary sporting legacy

By Yutang Sports 17 Apr 2024

For Ian Metcalfe, Chair of the SportAccord 2024 Executive Steering Committee, welcoming the global sports movement two years after the successful delivery of the Commonwealth Games always represented an ideal opportunity to build on the legacy of the multi-sport event.


However, as more than 1,700 of sport’s most influential decision-makers return home after an inspiring week at the International Convention Centre, there are already signs of the potential impact of hosting sport’s No.1 global gathering last week.

Speaking to SportAccord on the sidelines of the Exhibition Hall on the final day of the SportAccord World Sport & Business Summit 2024, an enthusiastic Metcalfe expressed optimism for the future.

“My understanding is that there are already two or three conversations on event hosting that have commenced as a result of meetings here,” he said.

“I think SportAccord will have enhanced the region’s ability to host major events and their attractiveness to the International Federations that are organising them.”

The population of Birmingham and the West Midlands is young and diverse, with more than 30% of inhabitants being under the age of 25. Meanwhile the region’s transport links and high-quality sports venues make it an extremely attractive destination for future events.

“You have got the connectivity of the region, you have got the diversity and inclusivity of the region, and you have got the age of the people who live in the region. If you want to capture your future spectators, then here is the place to do it.

“SportAccord will have enhanced the region’s ability to host major events and their attractiveness to the International Federations”

“The opportunity to have the Olympic Movement here and show what we have got to offer at a world-class conference centre – and also to offer a sense of the regeneration of the centre of Birmingham – was really important to us.”

In addition to numerous insightful conference sessions, SportAccord 2024 featured a “Connect & Cultivate” programme for delegates that featured cultural activities.

This gave attendees the chance to learn about the West Midlands’ sporting history – and its bright future.

Metcalfe hopes this popular element of SportAccord 2024 has helped to enhance perceptions of Birmingham and the West Midlands as a whole.

“If they have left with a greater understanding of Birmingham and the West Midlands, and that what they might have heard about the area in the 1980s and 1990s as a failing area of the country is not true, then it will have been a great success,” he said.

Commenting directly on SportAccord 2024, Metcalfe added: “I think it has been pretty extraordinary. It has been everything we wanted it to be as a host city and a host region.

“The feedback from the delegates, International Federations and SportAccord Managing Director Martin Gibbs has been off the charts.

“They have loved Birmingham and getting to know the city, which for me as a proud Brummie has been great. For many who had not been here before, they realised what a great city it is. 

“They have loved being able to just walk from their hotels to a world-class convention centre on their doorstep, in the heart of a big city.” 

Metcalfe also believes the positive impact of hosting SportAccord 2024 will ripple into the rest of the country.

“The great thing about the United Kingdom is there are so many brilliant different cities and regions that are ready to host events,” he added.

For Birmingham and the West Midlands, though, it seems clear that the SportAccord effect will live on beyond five fantastic days in April 2024 – and the future of the city and region as a major sports event destination is unquestionably bright.


The SportAccord World Sport & Business Summit 2024 is supported by a number of strong partners and suppliers:

Gold Partner: Sport Event Denmark

Silver Partners: EventScotlandExplore EdmontonTourism & Events Queensland

Bronze Partner: Sport Liverpool Sports Authority Thailand

Official Suppliers: DB SchenkerWiz-Team

About SportAccord World Sport & Business Summit 

The SportAccord World Sport & Business Summit brings together around 1,500 leaders and key decision makers from over 120 International Federations (IFs), the International Olympic Committee, and organisations involved in the business of sport. 

The Summit provides an unrivalled platform enabling global business leaders and host cities to have access to all the International Federations and their stakeholders in one location over several days. 

This unique event is a combination of official sports meetings, networking gatherings, a themed conference programme, and exhibition space enabling International Federations, industry, cities and regions to showcase and advance their sport, services and facilities. 


SportAccord is a sports event organisation based in the Olympic Capital, Lausanne, Switzerland, and governed by stakeholders representing the Olympic and non-Olympic International Federations.  

It brings together International Federations and organisations involved in the business of sport with the aim to serve, promote and protect the common interests of its stakeholders, help them achieve their global objectives and facilitate knowledge-sharing.

SportAccord’s stakeholders include:

ASOIF (Association of Summer Olympic International Federations)

WOF (Winter Olympic Federations)

ARISF (Association of IOC Recognised International Sports Federations)

AIMS (Alliance of Independent Recognised Members of Sport)

Visit for more information.

About Yutang Sports

As one of SportAccord's Principal Media Partners, Yutang Sports is a Chinese leading sports marketing and media platform, with an ultimate mission to connect China and world through sports. After years of growing, Yutang Sports, with a comprehensive media and marketing promotion system, is now dedicating to reporting sports business and marketing trends, providing sports business news, analysis, and exclusive data reports in both Chinese and English. Having been cooperated with top-level domestic and international sports summits, Yutang Sports is opening a window for Chinese sports industry to embrace the world.

Tags: SportAccord
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