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UK Athletics

high jumpers visit mg ahead of sainsbury's indoor grand prix

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Grabarz Parsons

13 February 2014

Two Birmingham-based high jumpers visited the factory of MG, British Athletics’ official automotive supplier, this morning ahead the Sainsbury’s Indoor Grand Prix at Birmingham’s NIA on Saturday.

Olympic bronze medallist Robbie Grabarz (coach: Fuzz Ahmed) and 2011 British indoor champion Tom Parsons (Aston Moore) were given a guided tour of the Longbride factory that included a behind the scenes look at the MG production line and museum outlining the brand’s illustrious history.

“It’s nice to so see someone come back to where the company was based and try and regenerate an area and invest in the city,” Grabarz said. “It gives people a bit of pride and there are jobs being created here, so it gives people something to be excited about.”

Parsons agreed that it was interesting to see inside the MG headquarters. He said: “I used to go to school in the area and I remember it being a big grey concrete block and didn’t think much about it. When it disappeared I realised how many people it affected in the local area.

“People who I worked with at Aston University were ex-Longbridge workers and it hit home then how important it was to the city. It’s good that the history and tradition hasn’t just disappeared completely.

“Hopefully MG can continue to grow year by year and become a resurgent brand. It’s good that they’re linking in with British Athletics and they’ll get their brand showcased at these big events.”

The pair will go head-to-head in the high jump at the Sainsbury’s Indoor Grand Prix following a tight competition at the Sainsbury’s British Athletics Indoor Championships in Sheffield last weekend. Grabarz came out victorious on count back after both cleared 2.24m and the 26 year old is excited to compete again in Birmingham.

He continued: “I feel like I’m making headway competition by competition, so I’ve just got to put these things together now and jump high.  It was nice to win the Sainsbury’s British Athletics Indoor Championships last weekend and so this weekend I’ve just got to stay calm and know that I don’t actually need to do a great deal more to jump the next bar.”

Meanwhile Parsons, who was born in Birmingham and still lives in the city is hoping to continue a promising start to his indoor campaign.

He added: “I’m excited because I’m jumping reasonably well again. Last year’s indoor season bypassed me a little bit and I’d like to put on a bit of a show for my home crowd.

“I want to jump as high as possible. Robbie has beaten me on count back in the last couple of competitions so I need to try and get one over him as well. It’s a great place to jump and a fantastic facility and crowd, so it’s a brilliant opportunity to jump high.”

Watch the Sainsbury’s Indoor Grand Prix live on BBC One from 1.15pm on Saturday.