Businesses large and small joined sports personalities including Three Lions Legend Gordon Banks for the launch of the 2018 UK Corporate Games.
The Games, which will return to Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent next year, are expected to attract thousands of amateur athletes from top companies and boost the local economy to the tune of around £3m.
The event at Keele Hall welcomed representatives from major national companies including Brose, EDF and Mexichem as well as local firms Eurostar Global Electronics and Wade Ceramics.
Over 20 companies have now signed up for the Games with more than1000 entrants already committed. The Games welcome organisations of all types and sizes with some entering multiple teams like Willis Towers Watson with 145 representatives from across the UK while smaller organisations like RDC have signed up for a 6-a-side team.
The joint Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent approach was selected by the Games organisers ahead of several other bids following the success of the Games in the region in 2015. The Games has been staged worldwide since 1988 in great destinations from Moscow and Mexico City to Melbourne but organisers believe that the 2015 event in the region was one of the best.
Games Director, Ben Sedgemore said:
“It is great to see so many people and partners in attendance at the launch as we want them all to spread the word. Having been associated with the Games for more than a decade I know that participating in the Games is a win-win situation for absolutely everyone involved. People can enter from all types of organisation regardless of their age or level of physical fitness. The youngest we have had in the Games is 8 and the oldest is 87. We have even had three generations of the same family in the same netball team in the past which shows the truly inclusive nature of the Games.”
Mark Winnington, Cabinet Member for Economic Growth at Staffordshire County Council, said that hosting the Games would be great for the county and provide yet another real powerful opportunity to show off what Staffordshire has to offer.
“The last Games were a huge success giving thousands of business people the chance to visit and see the huge economic opportunities available in the area. It’s great that we have so many prestigious companies already signed up but we’re keen to see as many local companies getting involved and taking advantage of the many benefits too.”
Councillor Anthony Munday, cabinet member for greener city, development and leisure at Stoke-on-Trent City Council, said:
“We’re excited to be bringing this very popular and successful event back to the city for the second time. More than 3,000 competitors took part when we hosted the event in 2015 and we are hoping to see even more people involved this year, especially businesses based here in the city. It is an event which attracts businesses from all over the UK and gives us not only fantastic exposure but a unique opportunity to sell Stoke-on-Trent from a tourism, business and leisure point of view.”
The Games, Europe’s largest multisport festival for business will feature 23 sports over the weekend of 21 to 24 June 2018. Sports will include, hockey, cricket, badminton, netball, football, go Karting, golf, volleyball, tennis, basketball, running and dragon boat racing. Venues include Keele and Staffordshire Universities, Fenton Manor Sports Centre, Newcastle College, Trentham Gardens, Fast Lane Karting, Trentham Park Golf Club and a number of other impressive venues.
Another good supporter is England Legend Gordon Banks OBE who is Games Patron again. Gordon said, The Corporate Games will attract thousands of amateur sportsmen and women from the UK’s biggest companies to Stoke-on-Trent, Newcastle-under-Lyme and Staffordshire over the next 18 months. This is a fantastic opportunity to showcase not only the region’s economic opportunities but also our fantastic sporting facilities.
“We can be truly proud of venues like Newcastle College, Keele and Staffordshire Universities, Fenton Manor and Trentham Gardens. I would encourage business of all size and kind to get behind these events and make the most of the tremendous opportunities that they will create. I know you will all enjoy them too!”
Also welcoming guests was Jenny Booth, world record holder and gold-medal winning Paralympic swimmer who has been an excellent supporter of the Games and World Corporate Cups for a few years.
Companies can register for the Games at www.corporate-games.com or by calling 01733 380 888. People can also keep up with the latest on Twitter @corpgamesuk or on the Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/ukcorpgames