The 2022 World Games are the most accessible sporting event ever – why it matters

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Inclusion of the 2022 World Games - two wheelchair rugby players pat each other on the back
Presentation of wheelchair rugby at the Games for the first time. Photo via 2022 World Games

When you watch the World Games 2022, you will see an event that changes Birmingham and the world for the better. The sporting event is partnering with the Lakeshore Foundation of Birmingham to create an event that embraces accessibility for athletes and fans. Find out what they’re doing and why it’s important, then buy your money to see it all happen.

The world is coming to Birmingham next summer

At the 2022 World Games (TWG 2022), more than 3,600 top international athletes will compete in 34 sports at venues in Birmingham. From July 7 to 17, 2022, you will be able to see how this major event impacts our city.

Thanks to a partnership with the Birmingham-based non-profit Lakeshore Foundation, the Games will be the most accessible in its 40-year history. Pretty cool that it’s going on here, right?

Don’t miss the action: get your 2022 World Games tickets today.

Creating a legacy of inclusion in Birmingham

Statue of Vulcan at Railroad Park
Railroad Park is one of the Games venues. Photo via 2022 World Games

When the Birmingham Organizing Committee started planning for TWG 2022 to come to The Magic City, they wanted to make inclusiveness a priority.

Thus, TWG 2022 is partnering with the Lakeshore Foundation to ensure that everything related to the event is inclusive and accessible, from flyers to sports. Their initiative, A journey to a world, a game, will not only make a difference right now + in our city, it will have an impact on the inclusion of disability in future sporting events around the world.

“Including accessibility is like flipping a light switch. Once the light is on, you still see it. The most important thing is to highlight inclusion and access.

In Birmingham, we understand that it is not acceptable for people to go through the back door or for people not to be able to sit with their families when they watch sporting events. “

Amy Rauworth, Head of Development and Strategic Partnerships, Lakeshore Foundation

A journey to a world, a game

TWG opening ceremony
We can’t wait to see crowds like this in Birmingham next year. Photo via 2022 World Games

The Disability Inclusion and Access Initiative will focus on four strategies:

1. Set up a diverse and representative steering committee for the 2022 World Games

An important part of creating the initiative was to ensure that the committee itself is representative of a wide variety of abilities and perspectives. By partnering with the staff of the Lakeshore Foundation, the TWG team can design an accessible program.

“Inclusiveness is making sure you have people at the table who care about it. If you don’t have anyone at the table, it’s often not something you think about.

Kathy Boswell, Vice President of Community Engagement, GTT 2022

2. Create an inclusive and accessible experience for athletes

In 2022, The Games will introduce wheelchair rugby for the first time. The sporting event will showcase the talent and passion of each athlete.

Beyond sports, an accessible athletic experience means international athletes will be able to see our city. The TWG 2022 team will share accessible options with athletes and highlight companies that value inclusion.

3. Improve accessibility and inclusion of fans

A big part of how this sporting event will be most accessible to date is in the fan experience. The Birmingham Organizing Committee will ensure that venues used during the Games have plenty of accessible seating. Plus, they’ll share transportation options, so fans can get to and from venues.

“By presenting this as an initiative, even small business owners will understand that the more universal you can be, the more service you can provide to clients. The disability community appreciates this and brings family and friends. This is something really important that our whole community will learn from.

Amy Rauworth, Head of Development and Strategic Partnerships, Lakeshore Foundation

4. Develop a training and education program for staff, volunteers and partners

Have you ever thought about how the font on a poster could make something harder to read? If you haven’t, you’re not alone, but that’s why the Lakeshore Foundation is educating everyone involved in TWG 2022. From sharing the importance of accessibility to concrete actions that individuals can take, this training will help everyone bring what they have learned into their own communities.

2022 World Games create a brighter future for Birmingham accessibility now

The opening ceremony of the 2017 World Games
Get ready for the party of a lifetime at the opening ceremony. Photo via 2022 World Games

Next year Birmingham will make history. Through the Games’ partnership with the Lakeshore Foundation, we will be able to see how this changes our community for the better for years to come. Believe me, you don’t want to miss it.

“I know what the World Games represent; I know what this can do for Birmingham and the state of Alabama. It’s good for the community, the athletes, all of us. In 2022, it’s a new generation of sport.

Noah Galloway, Honorary Co-Chair, The 2022 World Games

Are you ready to see history make in Birmingham? Buy your 2022 World Games tickets today and register to volunteer during the Games.

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