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UK Athletics team up with Bears for Twenty20

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Cricket launch 2008


9 June 2008


UK Athletics have today announced an exciting and unique partnership with Warwickshire Bears County Cricket Club which will see the the two sports join forces this summer.

This inaugural step of what could become a longer-term partnership, will see the Bears partner UK Athletics, as they gear up to welcome the National Championships back to Birmingham from 11-13 July at Alexander Stadium. The Championships will see Britain’s top athletes go head to head to book their places for the Olympic Games in Beijing.


Olympic Champion Mark Lewis-Francis (Birchfield Harriers), welcomed news of the partnership between cricket and athletics to boost the profile of sport across the city. He said:


“Birmingham is a great city and I’m pleased to see UK Athletics joining forces with Warwickshire Cricket Club to raise the profile of the National Championships taking place in my home town.


"Competing at the Olympics is every athlete’s dream and I would like to urge the people of Birmingham to get behind the athletes aiming to qualify for Beijing in July.”

The Bears Twenty20 campaign begins with their first match against Glamorgan Dragons on 11 June and the UK Athletics brand will feature on the front of the Bears shirts for all their Twenty20 matches.

UK Athletics Chief Executive Niels De Vos on signing the agreement said:


“We are delighted that Warwickshire County Cricket Club have offered us this opportunity to promote athletics and the return of the Olympic Trials to Birmingham. 


"The Olympic motto - faster, higher, stronger - sums up the fact that athletic ability is the essential ingredient of all successful sports professionals.  If you can't run, jump or throw you will struggle to make the grade in most sports.


“Twenty20 cricket and the Warwickshire Bears have led the way in promoting itself to a massive new audience. By working in partnership, we believe we can bring new fans to one another’s sport to mutual benefit and prove once again that no one supports major events in quite the same way as the people of Birmingham.”

Warwickshire County Cricket club’s Commercial Director, James McLaughlin added:

“We are thrilled to team up with UK Athletics and look forward to a successful Twenty20 partnership with them. There is a great synergy between us both as we are keen to attract younger audiences to our respective sports”

As part of today’s announcement, Bears International Cricketer Darren Maddy (England) and Olympic Gold medallist Mark Lewis-Francis posed for photographers at Edgbaston, to mark this exciting agreement.

For ticketing information on the above events, please visit;