Nottingham has been voted England’s home of sport in a VisitEngland campaign, launched in celebration of an extraordinary sporting year during which the country welcomed the America’s Cup World Series, Rugby World Cup and the inaugural Tour de Yorkshire.
Having received more nominations than any other English destination, earning the ‘People’s Choice’ position in a shortlist of six, Nottingham went on to score a whopping 38% of the total number of public votes, securing its place as England’s Home of Sport.
James Berresford, VisitEngland’s Chief Executive, says: “Live sporting events are great drivers for tourism, worth £3.2 billion to the sector. With this accolade, Nottingham has been put firmly on the tourist trail as a must-visit destination for any sports fan. As the site of our glorious Ashes win this summer, the setting for the recently released and critically acclaimed I Believe in Miracles film and the home to the National Water Sports Centre, Nottingham offers visitors plenty to see and do.”
Jennifer Spencer, Chief Executive of Experience Nottinghamshire, said: “We’re over the moon to have been named England’s official home of sport! This is a fantastic coup for Nottingham, and a wonderful reflection of the diverse sporting offer we have here – from legendary sporting heroes such as Brian Clough and Torvill & Dean, to world class sporting facilities such as Trent Bridge and top spectator and participant events all year round. We’re looking forward to welcoming even more sports lovers to Nottingham as a result of this achievement. Thanks to everyone who voted and all of the partners who supported Nottingham.”
Councillor Dave Trimble, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture, Nottingham City Council, said: “Nottingham is a very worthy winner of this accolade, being voted England’s Home of Sport 2015. Our city offers world-class sporting facilities and events for both local people and for visitors to the area. I’m particularly pleased that we were the ‘people’s choice’ as it shows how proud the people of Nottingham are of their city’s sporting achievements.”
Simon Starr, Director of Sport Nottinghamshire, said: “I am absolutely delighted that Nottingham has been recognised as England’s Home of Sport. We are blessed with fantastic and iconic facilities, great teams, great coaches and some amazing athletes but more than that, Nottingham is a city that lives and breathes its sport. The title is well deserved and I hope it will help to inspire even more people in Nottingham to lead healthy and active lives”
Home of great sporting facilities…
Did you know that Nottingham has more sports facilities per head of the population than anywhere else in Europe? Home to the National Water Sports Centre, which offers facilities for kayaking, canoeing, white water rafting, and the first twin Olympic-sized ice rink, Nottingham has world-class facilities enjoyed by novices and champion athletes alike. The brand new state-of-the-art facilities at the Harvey Hadden Sports Village include a 60m indoor running track, an eight-lane 400m running track and a publicly-accessible 50m swimming pool with adjustable floor.
Home of sporting legends…
Skating legends Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean started their skating career at the Nottingham Ice Stadium, now the National Ice Centre. English cricket hero and star of the Ashes, Stuart Broad, is a proud Nottingham man who was quick to get behind the city in its bid to be crowned the national sporting capital. Of course one of the country’s best known and loved football managers, Brian Clough, is synonymous with Nottingham, where his statue still stands proudly. Under the helm of ‘Cloughie’, Nottingham Forest Football Club rose to League and European Club victory in the 70s and 80s and were undefeated in 42 consecutive matches. Nottingham also spawned a number of our Olympic Gold Medallists, including Rebecca Adlington, Etienne Stott MBE, Tim Baillie MBE and Richard Whitehead MBE. Champion boxer Carl Froch was recently awarded Freeman of the City.
Home of sporting firsts…
In 2014, Nottingham was crowned England’s first City of Football by Sport England – and for good reason. Notts County Football Club is the oldest football league club in the world. In fact, football has a lot to thank Nottingham for – it was here that shin pads were invented, and here that football goal nets were first used.
Home of the 2015 sporting action…
Nottingham welcomed the 4th Investec Ashes series at Trent Bridge cricket ground and was the site of England’s glorious win. The city hosted the Men’s Aegon Open tennis championships in June after a seven-year hiatus, and welcomed the women’s tournament for the very first time the same month. The first Cerebral Palsy World Games in 15 years was held at the newly redeveloped Haddon Sports Complex in August, while other major accessible sporting events in Nottingham included the British Open Wheelchair Tennis Championships and FIRST World Deaf Championships, both in July. The GB Archery finals were held in Wollaton Park in August, and Nottingham has been confirmed as the first English destination to host the European Archery Championship in 2016. Nottingham is also a cycling city, hosting the Tour of Britain this year, along with major cycling events the Milk Race and Cycle Live.
And now… Home of Sport!
The search to establish England’s ultimate sporting capital began in June, when VisitEngland asked the public to nominate their top sporting experiences and venues across the country. Over the following weeks, thousands of submissions flooded in from across the country, and spanned everything from favourite running routes and personal fitness challenges to stadia holding tens of thousands of fans and even choice pubs for watching the action.
Six shortlisted destinations – Nottingham, Rugby, Gloucestershire, Manchester, London and Yorkshire – went to public vote. Nottingham was quick out of the starting blocks and stormed ahead during the voting stages, securing 38% of the total votes to be crowned England’s Home of Sport on 23 October.