This is excellent news in UK!
British Athletics has announced that both Diamond League meetings and the British indoor Championships will happen in 2021.
The Anniversary Games celebrate the London 2012 Olympics legacy and it is an excellent event! I loved that meet! Big crowds and enthusiasm, with superb events and competitors.
The British Indoor Athletic Championships will be held in 2021 as well. Money challenges had put this meet up on the “do we need it” and thank God, we do!
Thanks to Stuart Weir on putting this together.
British Indoor Championships and Diamond Leagues in 2021 program
Jo Coates, CEO of British Athletics, briefed journalists that the British Indoor Championships would definitely take place in 2021, funded by a grant from UK Sport specifically to enable the event to take place. Jo Coates confirmed that “thanks to the money from UK sport even if we don’t sell tickets, we can still put the event on and it won’t be a drain on our resources”. The event will also serve as selection trials for the World Indoors and the European Indoors, provided these events take place. The grant amounting to Â£394,000 ($508,000) is earmarked for the delivery of the Indoor Championships. Whether an Indoor Grand Prix would take place next year is uncertain at this stage.
Coates also confirmed that the list of Diamond League fixtures to be published on 31 October would include two Diamond Leagues in Britain – London and Gateshead. She said that she was confident that the Anniversary Games would take place. The viability of the Gateshead event would depend on spectators being allowed and/or a deal with a broadcaster which would cover the running costs. She explained: “If we make losses that means that money is taken out of delivering athletics. I don’t want to put on commercial events which are not commercially viable as it means that is less money to spend on coaching and delivering athletics”.
The confirmation that the Anniversary Games is in the program for 2021 will delight British athletes.
— British Athletics (@BritAthletics) September 2, 2020
Pole vaulter, Holly Bradshaw, told me: “The Anniversary Games is really important. I started my professional career with a home Olympic games so I have lots of positive memories about that stadium and love going back there to compete. The Anniversary Games offer a lot of opportunities for British athletes to compete against the best in the world and to try and get qualification marks, so maybe they up their game. It’s great financially for British athletes. As a female pole-vaulter it’s very rare that I’ll get an appearance fee at any other meet, especially not Diamond Leagues but in the UK they really help support their athletes. So the loss of that is going to be a massive hit for athletes in the UK”
Jake Wightman agreed, saying: “I have done every one since the London Olympics. In 2013 I had just turned 19 and won European juniors and they invited me to run the Emsley Carr mile in the Anniversary Games. I finished dead last, outside 4 minutes but I still got to run in a full Olympic stadium. How cool was that for a junior! And every year since British athletes have been given the chance to race against the best in the world there. I think too for many overseas athletes the Olympic stadium, if it’s not their favorite place to race, it’s up there. What bigger sell can you have for athletics in Britain than an event in the Olympic stadium which reminds everyone how good London 2012 was. You still get a bit of that amazing atmosphere and nostalgia. It is such a great celebration of athletics in Britain”.
Long jumper, Abi Irozuru commented: “I think it’s very important and a matter of national pride and also an issue of legacy. We hosted the 2012 Olympics and the 2017 world championships and we need to remember that as a nation. I thinkthat seeing big events in our country encourages people to participate in athletics. Big events like Diamond Leagues don’t just include British athletes but international athletes. I understand that there may not be spectators but then we need to find a way round it like we did with the national championships in Manchester. And that the still successful with a lot of people watching on television. This always a way round it. We just need to be creative and more innovative. It’s important for us as athletes to have that kind of event in this country”.