Wednesday 17th January 2018

The University of Birmingham has signed up as the latest national supplier for the IAAF World Indoor Championships Birmingham 2018, which will be held at Arena Birmingham from the 1 to 4 March. The University will support the volunteer programme for the Championships, which is the biggest indoor sports event to be staged in the city for 15 years.

More than 500 volunteers, who’ll be known as ‘Gems’ – to highlight the city’s Jewellery Quarter and
because they are so valuable to the event – are being recruited to help out during the Championships, and the University will support this programme. With a clear understanding of the value that volunteering at major sports events brings to its students, the University has a successful history of recruiting, developing and supporting volunteers, particularly for international preparation camps and major events in the city. University of Birmingham students have
comprised the main volunteer workforce for two Jamaica Track & Field camps, and the
Birmingham International Marathon and Great Birmingham Run.

Championships Director, Joan Durose, said: ‘We are delighted to have the biggest university in the city on board as a supplier. Our volunteers are crucial to the success of the Championships and it is great to have the expertise of the University to call on to help us provide a first-class training programme for our Gems.’ The University of Birmingham is one of the UK’s leading research-led universities. It became the first university to offer a sports-based degree in 1946, and is currently ranked number five globally for sports science research. Nationally and internationally, it is a destination of choice for talented student athletes,  who receive specialist support from the University’s Performance Centre to enable them to achieve their potential in study and sport.

One such athlete is Sarah McDonald, one of three University of Birmingham students and graduates selected for the England athletics team for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, who recently won a team gold medal at the European Cross Country Championships. Another sport scholar, Jonny Davies, won silver and bronze medals at the World University Games in Taipei last year.

Zena Wooldridge OBE, University of Birmingham’s Director of Sport, said:
‘It’s a privilege to be a part of another global sporting event happening in Birmingham. In a university where athletics is part of our heritage, and volunteering is an increasingly important part of our student experience, our support for the Gems programme is a natural synergy. It’s an exciting opportunity for our own volunteer team to contribute to the success of the IAAF World Indoor Championships, whilst supporting some of our students to gain a unique and memorable volunteering experience from this event coming to Birmingham.”
The IAAF World Indoor Championships Birmingham 2018 is jointly organised by Birmingham City Council and British Athletics on behalf of the IAAF (the International Association of Athletics Federations).

More information about the Championships, including the full timetable and information about tickets can be ound at