Liverpool was today revealed as the host city for the 17th UK Corporate Games in 2010.
The Games, which will be based at the Arena and Convention Centre Liverpool, will see thousands of competitors flock to the city for the largest event of its kind in Europe.
It is thought to be worth up to £3million to the local economy and is a chance to showcase Liverpool to some of the largest businesses in the country, including John Lewis Partnership, ASDA, Fujitsu, the Cooperative, HSBC and Watson Wyatt.
Civic and business leaders today welcomed the announcement.
Councillor Warren Bradley, Leader of Liverpool City Council, which was part of the bid team which brought the games to the city, said: "Liverpool has developed a fantastic track record for hosting major cultural events and sporting occasions and it’s a fantastic honour to be welcoming the UK Corporate Games in 2010. I'm sure the city will provide the organisers and competitors with an unforgettable experience and demonstrate to businesses that Liverpool has much to offer - not just for the Games but for companies looking to grow out of the recession."
Liverpool Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Jack Stopforth said: "This is fantastic news for Liverpool. When you look at the support local business give to events like the Santa Dash and 5K Team Challenge, as well as the numerous fundraisers they arrange for charities, it is clear that local businesses are as competitive in the community as in the board room."
Peter Mearns, Executive Director of Marketing and Communications at the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) which is sponsoring the UK Corporate Games in Liverpool, said: "Liverpool has demonstrated it has the world-class facilities and experience to host successful major sporting events and is attracting such prestigious events as the UK Corporate Games. This is a huge coup for Liverpool which will generate millions of pounds for the local and regional economy. It also gives businesses the ideal opportunity to boost staff morale and promote a healthier, fitter workforce."
The City will welcome at least 3000 participants who will compete at various sporting venues across the city between May 13th-16th 2010.
Dr Maureen Johnston, President and Founder of the Worldwide Corporate Games Community, which has more than 20 national and regional Corporate Games in progress globally, added: "The UK Corporate Games is the European ultimate in corporate multi-sports festivals and this a very exciting time for us. The Games will bring together teams from across the region and the rest of the UK, giving opportunities to everyday athletes who play sport for the fun, fitness and competition it provides. All are there to represent their company, institution, club or workplace. The competitors will not be elite superstars, although some may once have been leaders in their sport, but they will play hard and enjoy the camaraderie and respect that real competition in sport and life can offer.
"Liverpool is an outstanding city for such a competition. It is both historic and modern with a vibrant mix of the old and new, and has a great business, lifestyle and sporting ambience. It is excellent in both amenities and location for the many visitors who will come from companies, businesses, organisations and institutions from all across the UK and also from many places worldwide."
Teams will travel to Liverpool and sample everything that the UK's best known city of culture, music, fun, and excitement has to offer. Competitors will select one of 23 sports, from Badminton to Basketball, Netball to Karting, and Tennis to Touch Rugby. It includes some more unusual sports such as Dragon Boat Racing, and Long Distance Swimming and - to bring back great memories of schooldays in a newly revitalised sport - Rounders. Golf will be a featured sport as will three codes of Soccer - 11s, 6s and 5s.
Entries from Liverpool businesses and institutions will be challenged by multinational and "household-name" organisations from the UK and Europe. However, the Games is not just for the huge and mighty of the world’s corporations, it welcomes even the tiniest business, group or club to participate and become a winner. A team can be one person or more than a thousand - and still win one of the 8 major Awards.
Games Director, Ben Sedgemore, said: "The team building benefits just cannot be underestimated. As an ex-professional football player myself I can tell you that it is tough to replicate the camaraderie and team spirit that you experience in professional team sport when you move to an office environment. However, I am a firm believer that the Games is the perfect vehicle to achieve just that.
"The Games respects the participants as much as the winners and will provide an unforgettable experience for all entrants regardless of age or ability."
The by-invitation only Official Launch is set for Wednesday July 29th 2009 in a VIP-filled BT Convention Centre.
Organisations who wish to enter or would like more details about the event should visit the corporate games website www.corporate-games.com