Businesses in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent are set to benefit as Europe's largest multisport festival for business returns to the region for a second year.
The UK Corporate games, which will take place from 21 to 24 June 2018 is expected to attract thousands of amateur athletes from top UK companies and boost the local economy while showcasing the area’s growing economic opportunities.
This year’s Games held in Nottingham in July attracted over 5,000 competitors and generated an estimated £3.8m for the local economy.
The Games will feature 24 sports on the packed weekend programme, as well as a host of celebrations including a Grand Parade of Athletes, the Great Games Party and the SuperCentre Celebration.
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 and Trentham Gardens.
The joint Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent approach was selected by the Games organisers ahead of several other bids following the success of the inaugural games in 2015.
Mark Winnington, Cabinet Member for Economic Growth at Staffordshire County Council, said that hosting the games again would be great for the county and provide yet another real powerful opportunity to show off what Staffordshire has to offer.
He said: "The last games were a huge success giving thousands of people from top UK companies the chance to visit and see the huge economic opportunities available in the area. We already know what a great place it is to live, work and invest in and this is another opportunity to let the rest of the country know. Local businesses took part in the previous Games with opportunities to meet new customers and make new contacts and I hope to see even more local firms taking part again.”
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.”
Games Director for the UK Corporate Games, Ben Sedgemore said: The Games has been staged annually in the UK since 1992 but our experience in 2015 in the region was certainly one of the best. Stoke-On-Trent and Staffordshire is blessed with some fantastic facilities and a great central location and everyone enjoyed their involvement in the Games. We had some great interest from other strong destinations for 2018 but the positive experience enjoyed by the competing organisations and ourselves last time ensured we were very keen to return. We can’t wait now.
Another good supporter is England Legend Gordon Banks OBE who is Sport Patron for the Games 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!”
Businesses interested in taking part are invited to a special celebration launch event on 4 October at Keele Hall from 6.30pm. Companies can register or find out more at www.corporate-games.com or by calling 01733 380 888
Paul Farmer, Managing Director at Wade Ceramics and Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership board member said: “It’s fantastic news that Wade Ceramics as a local business with international connections will be supporting the Games as a key partner as well as making this part of a triple commitment with signing up to the Games plus two other corporate cup events in 2017/18, the World Corporate Cup of Dragon Boat Racing and the World Corporate Cup of Triathlon. Wade are not only showing that they are truly committed to supporting the health and well being of their employees but also really helping the city to prosper and bring investment in through the visitor economy and profiling the area.”
Air Products who have offices in Crewe have already confirmed their place at the Games. Team Leader , Pascal Van Loon said: “Air Products is looking forward to the UK Corporate Games 2018 and have already committed to entering a team. Year-on-year I see the benefits that such an event brings, not just from an improved employee fitness level, but also from participation by our staff from different sites and offices across the UK. The weekend creates a great sense of comradery and the competition drives individuals and teams to achieve more. As team manager I am happy that Air Products can continue its longstanding tradition of being part of the Worldwide Corporate Games Community.”