While in Birmingham, Chris and the Mayor visited projects and facilities that have already benefited from the Games.
These included a 3x3 basketball event at Sparkbrook’s Farm Park that was organised by Concord Youth Centre, Basketball England and Sport Birmingham, who were linked together by the Commonwealth Active Communities programme.
And the launch itself was held at Impact Fitness, who received a £10,000 grant from our Places and Spaces fund, as well as being given equipment from the Commonwealth Games equipment giveaway that saw more than 16,000 items used during the Games distributed to community groups across the West Midlands.
Impact Fitness’ Haniyha Kousar runs female-only wrestling classes to encourage more Muslim women to get active and has seen first-hand the difference accessible sport and physical activity opportunities can make.
“As a Muslim woman I have noticed the barriers that we face in terms of both religion and culture," she said.
"Even just with wrestling there are lots of things holding us back, such as clothing not catering to Muslims, with restrictions on covering, and the majority of classes being mixed, even for adults.
"So at Impact we’ve worked hard to create a space to allow women and girls to get into wrestling, even if just to keep fit and have fun. A space for females only to feel comfortable.
"The Commonwealth Games were an amazing experience. It was nice for it to be so close to home because I had the opportunity to be involved by helping to run a have-a-go event which gave 2,000 children and adults a taste of wrestling."
The WMCA’s Commonwealth Games Legacy Enhancement Fund was established after the Games came in under budget and, following discussions with the Mayor and the combined authority, the government has decided to invest the remaining £70m into the region – a decision welcomed by the Mayor.
“We know from work undertaken by the West Midlands Combined Authority - including the Health of the Region report and Mental Health Commission - that there are unfortunately barriers that too many local people face when it comes to taking part in sport and physical activity," he said.
“I’m determined to address these health inequalities and this partnership with Sport England will help us in that vital effort.
“Our Legacy Enhancement Fund - combined with additional investment from Sport England - will ensure we maximise the post Games momentum to deliver tangible benefit for local people right across our region including those from some of our most deprived communities.”