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Conservative Party Conference 2016,
2-5 October
The ICC - Sport

Birmingham is renowned across the world as a venue for competitive sport. If you enjoy the thrill of live sporting action then a visit to Birmingham is a must.

From international athletics to test cricket; the Horse of the Year Show to world trampolining; tennis to Ryder Cup golf and speedway to Premier League and Championship football, Birmingham and the wider region, including Solihull and the Black Country, hosts the very best in both amateur and professional sport.

The city has some of the most exciting venues for watching or participating in sport in the UK, including the National Indoor Arena, Alexander Stadium, Villa Park and the LG Arena as well as a wide range of great sports clubs and venues - if you’re keen to compete or even just keep fit.

Athletics

Birmingham is a focal point of British athletics and hosts many World and European events throughout the year.

The sporting calendar is jam-packed. You can see current and future Olympians battling it out at the National Indoor Arena (NIA) and Alexander Stadium on a regular basis.

There are also four principal athletics clubs in Birmingham. The largest and most successful is Birchfield Harriers – which has produced 100 Olympians over the last 100 years.

Founded in 1877, its recent stars include Olympic, World and Commonwealth medallists Denise Lewis, Ashia Hansen, Mark Lewis Francis and Katharine Merry. The club trains at Alexander Stadium in Perry Barr and has use of Birmingham’s world-class indoor high performance centre.

Badminton

Birmingham: home to the All England Open Championships of the fastest racket sport on the planet.

Yonex All England Open Badminton Championships, the NIA


The most prestigious badminton championships in the world returned for its 104th year in March.

The Badminton England event once again bought the world’s top 10 players from each discipline to compete for the coveted title.

Listed as a Badminton World Federation Superseries Premier event, its significance is proven with only four other events being given this status. It captures everyone’s imagination, whether you have never seen a live badminton event before or you come every year.

Golf

From the Ryder Cup to a round with friends, Birmingham offers easy access to some outstanding golf courses.

The Belfry

Why not follow in the footsteps of the masters? Having hosted The Ryder Cup an unprecedented four times, The Belfry resort is synonymous with truly special golfing moments and steeped in tournament history. The Belfry's two stunning Championship courses The Brabazon and the PGA National, sculpted from 550 acres of lush North Warwickshire countryside have provoked some of the most dramatic moments in the history of the sport.

You can sign up for world-class golf tuition at England’s only PGA branded Academy, a centre of excellence for golf. Resources include custom fitting suites, a 34 bay floodlit driving range, a short game area, state-of-the-art video analysis, practice facilities and launch monitor technology. Training options include group lessons, junior tuition, ladies tuition and non-residential courses, all carried out by 20 PGA Qualified Professionals.

For residential visits there is a 324 bedroom hotel with a selection of bars and restaurants, extensive Health and Welness club and indulgent spa and 22 well equipped conference and meeting rooms.

To complete the experience The Belfry boasts Europe's largest on-site golf, leisure and lifestyle store. The Shop at The Belfry stocks an extensive range of world famous brands and cutting edge golfing equipment from industry leaders. 

To find out more information visit www.TheBelfry.com or call 0300 500 0405

Nailcote Hall

The Cromwell course at Nailcote Hall in Berkswell, close to The NEC offers a golfing challenge to test the skills of players of all ages and ability, in a beautiful parkland setting.

Nailcote Hall also plays host to The British Par 3 Championship, hosted by Tony Jacklin CBE and sponsored by FARMFOODS. The British Par 3 Championship is a unique golfing experience giving amateurs the chance to play 18 holes of golf on the challenging Cromwell Course, alongside a top celebrity, in a televised competition.

The event attracts a huge array of big names from the world of golf in addition to well known celebrities from the world of television, sport and the media.

Find out more about the British Par 3 Championship at the official website.

Harborne Golf Club

Harborne is a delightful parkland course that was founded in 1893. It is just 3 miles south west of Birmingham City Centre and less than 5 miles from either junction 2 or junction 3 of the M5.

Harborne is a 6210 yard course, par 70, whose landscape offers a challenge to both high and low handicap golfers. Visitors, members and prospective members are all welcome.

Having a membership of less than 600 means that, in the main, the course is readily accessible from Monday to Friday.

With conference and banqueting facilities their tastefully decorated main Function Room can seat up to 100 guests for large seminars and conferences, and for smaller events a private room with sliding screens can be set up for groups of around 16. Board rooms tables, flip charts and projector can be provided.

West Midlands Golf Club

One of several high specification courses around the region, the West Midlands Golf Club is located between Meriden and Balsall Common in Solihull just 5 minutes from The NEC. USGA tees and greens and an extensive drainage system allow all year round play without the need for temporary tees and greens.

The Golf Course is of a modern English design with American influence, over rolling parkland with mature and newly planted trees and subtle contouring, it also has several holes demanding tee shots and approach shots over water including the signature hole, the 18th a Par 3 with an island green.

Cricket

Birmingham’s Edgbaston Cricket Ground: synonymous with world class international cricket.

Edgbaston Cricket Ground, one of England’s most famous sporting venues, has been hosting Test Match cricket for over 100 years. It is also home to Warwickshire County Cricket Club, formed in 1882, a club that has produced some of England’s finest cricketers including Ashley Giles, Dennis Amiss and Bob Willis. (Brian Lara played for WCC but is not English.) 

The ground has had a stunning £32 million face-lift, creating a spectacular space with first class facilities that’s great for the whole family.

Then throughout the summer months Edgbaston is home to the Warwickshire Bears, hosting over 50 days of domestic cricket. Whether you enjoy the traditional format of the LV= County Championship or the faster pace of Friends Life t20, there is something for everyone to watch.

Football

With five top clubs in and around Birmingham: Aston Villa, Birmingham City, West Bromwich Albion, Stoke City and Wolverhampton Wanderers, there’s real football choice here.

Aston Villa

If you’re a football fan, a visit to Villa Park is a must. One of the founders of the Football League in 1888, Aston Villa Football Club was founded in 1874 and they have played at Villa Park, since 1897. They were also founder members of the Premier League in 1992 and have remained in the top flight of British football ever since, making regular appearances on the European stage too.

Villa Park itself is a spectacular sight. Hosting almost 43,000 fans and rated 5 Stars by European football body UEFA there’s an amazing atmosphere at home games whether you’re in the stands of in one of the luxurious corporate suites or boxes.

Why not take a stadium tour - a breathtaking opportunity to see the pitch, changing rooms and even sit on the manager’s bench.

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Follow Aston Villa Football Club on Facebook. Did you know that they have recently passed the one million followers mark?

Birmingham City

Birmingham City are fighting to regain their place in the top flight of British football so you can expect ambitious, energetic football from the Blues if you call into the 30,000-seater St Andrew’s Stadium to see them play.

One of Birmingham’s two major football clubs, Birmingham City were formed in 1875 as Small Heath Alliance, they became Small Heath in 1888, then Birmingham in 1905, finally becoming Birmingham City in 1943. Almost as old as their fierce rivals Aston Villa, Birmingham City were founder members and first ever champions of the Football League Second Division.

Stadium tours are available at St Andrews, check the website for details.

West Bromwich Albion

West Bromwich Albion Football Club, nicknamed The Baggies, are a Premier League football club based in West Bromwich less than 30 minutes west of Birmingham.

The club was formed in 1878 and have played at their home ground, The Hawthorns, since 1900. Along with Aston Villa, Albion were one of the founding members of The Football League in 1888 and have spent the majority of the years ever since in the top tier of English football.

Albion have a number of long-standing rivalries with other West Midlands clubs; their traditional rivals have always been Aston Villa, but more recently their major rivalry has been with Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Stoke City

Premier League Stoke City Football Club are nicknamed The Potters after the local pottery industry in and around the city of Stoke. Founded in 1863, it is the oldest club in the Premier League, and considered to be the second oldest professional football club in the world, after Notts County.

Stoke's home ground is the Britannia Stadium, a 27,598 all-seater stadium. Before the stadium was opened in 1997, the club was based at the Victoria Ground, which had been its home ground since 1878.

The club plays in the Premier League after winning promotion in 2008.  Its first, and to date only, major trophy was won in the 1972 Football League Cup Final, when the team beat Chelsea 2–1.

Wolverhampton Wanderers

Wolverhampton Wanderers (nicknamed Wolves) are currently flying high at the top of League One.

Like Aston Villa and their Black Country rivals West Brom, Wolves were also founder members of the Football League in 1888 and played an instrumental role in the establishment of the European Cup, later to become the UEFA Champions League.

 

Get your boots on

There are plenty of places to play if you’d rather be down on the touchline than up in the stands.

Use our Explore section to see a range of local football pitches, clubs and activities in Birmingham

Tennis

Aegon Classic, Edgbaston Priory Club

Each year Birmingham welcomes The Aegon Classic tennis tournament which attracts a host of world-class players at the Edgbaston Priory Club. The event, which is just five minutes from Birmingham City Centre, hails the start of the summer tennis season and provides an unbelievable opportunity to watch some of the world’s best players in an intimate and welcoming setting.

 

Rugby

Moseley Rugby Club take on some of the best on any given Saturday with the first XV playing one of the top 20 rugby matches in the country. The Birmingham & Solihull Bees also provide must-see games and are recognised as one of the top 24 teams in the country.

Worcester Warriors Rugby Football Club play their home games at Sixways Stadium under the leadership of Director of Rugby Dean Ryan. They play in rugby union’s top division, the Aviva Premiership, having secured promotion in 2011 following a dramatic end to the season which saw them win four of their last six games. The Warriors’ home, Sixways Stadium, is a multi-purpose venue which is used 24/7, 365 days of the year. Since the professional era in rugby, the 12,024 capacity stadium has undergone a number of facelifts, firstly with the new West Stand, with indoor training centre, followed by the impressive South Stand and, most recently, the state-of-the-art Slick Systems Stand which holds 6,000 people on match days.

Since the recent repurchase of Moseley Rugby Club by its members, the team is rapidly rebuilding for a return to the very top of the game. The squad, always playing attractive rugby, usually includes a good proportion of players who have come up through the youth development teams.

Birmingham & Solihull RFC, home of the Bees are situated right in the heart of Solihull, just twenty minutes south east of Birmingham and offer a fantastic sporting day out. The Bees showcase the best of national level rugby throughout the nine months of the season each year (September to May).

Use EXPLORE Birmingham to see a range of sporting activities in Birmingham