MLS Help Bring First Ever World Blind Games to UK

14th May 2020

The 2023 World Games for the Blind and Visually Impaired Athletes has been awarded to Birmingham by the International Blind Sports Association (IBSA) at its May board meeting last week.

The host Federation, British Blind Sport, commissioned MLS Contracts, the Sheffield based major events consultancy, to oversee and drive the UK host city selection process, liaising with a number of potential host cities in the UK and developing the feasibility study. Following the selection of Birmingham MLS built and developed a full business plan leading to a funding application to UK Sport to support the Games if Britain were selected. MLS next progressed the development of the Bid with partners from the City of Birmingham, in which the University of Birmingham is the key accommodation and sporting hub.

The 2023 World Games will attract over 1000 blind athletes across 11 sports and a further 400 supporters/coaches that work with the athletes, overseen by 200 officials and supported by 500 volunteers. The event has received UK Sport support plus engagement from the City of Birmingham, the University of Birmingham, and facilities in the Edgbaston area of Birmingham including the Edgbaston Priory Club and King Edwards School for Boys.

The World Games will also be a 2024 Paralympic qualification event for the sports of Goalball and Judo and will also host Football, another Paralympic Sport.

Alaina MacGregor, Chief Executive of British Blind Sport, confirmed the arrival of the Games in a press release earlier this week.
“We are particularly delighted with our partnership with MLS who have been both innovative and diligent in getting such a major bid across the line with all stakeholders, including UK Sport and in turn the International Federation.”

Sallie Barker, Chair of British Blind Sport, said

"I am delighted to be working with MLS again after their successful delivery of the 2017 Women’s World Lacrosse Championships. As Chair of the Lacrosse LOC at that time, I experienced MLS’s great commitment and dedication to ensuring the delivery of a fantastic event and I am sure they will do the same in 2023 in Birmingham."

MLS’ Managing Director, Yuri Matischen, said.

“It’s been a privilege to work with such a committed disability sports organisation and it’s a proud moment for the company to see this £3m event awarded to the UK for the first time. It will be a great catalyst for the 2 million blind and visually impaired residents of our country, which has been our motivation and inspiration.”

MLS has a history of staging and working with international sporting events and federations, and is presently working with the International Wheelchair Rugby Federation on re-locating their international administration and online administration systems, whilst planning the 2021 Westfield Health British Transplant Games, in partnership with the charity Transplant Sport, in Leeds.

For further information contact:
Yuri Matischen, MLS Contracts Ltd,
E-mail: yuri.matischen@mlsgb.co

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