Blog | Let the Games begin!

“The event offers an opportunity for dedicated and passionate colleagues from many services to do what we do best – offering exceptional experiences.”

Let the Games begin! September 2023

Sam Glenister-Batey, Head of Conferences and Events at Leeds, reveals the outstanding collaborative efforts involved in the University’s successful application to host the prestigious 2024 UK Corporate Games, what winning the bid means for the wider community and how you can get involved in the action.

It’s an honour for the city and the University that the UK Corporate Games has chosen Leeds as its host for 2024. 

The University will play a pivotal role in this as the main hub for accommodation and social events, as well as hosting many sports, including badminton, football and rugby. 

The UK Corporate Games is the most comprehensive multi-sport corporate event in the UK, and is a platform for all business sectors to promote wellbeing and improved employee engagement. During the weekend of the Games, thousands of participants representing hundreds of organisations come together for an unrivalled celebration of sportsmanship and collaboration.

We’re delighted to have been chosen as the host for the event; in addition to the economic impact and other benefits it will bring, it aligns with – and will help promote – University values of collaboration, compassion, inclusivity and integrity. The Games will bring people from different backgrounds together in the celebration of sport. Moreover, the Games align with the University strategy, including the overarching elements of community, culture and impact. There really is no other event like it because it brings together local businesses with major national and international organisations in a way that only sport can. The impact of this is a sense of belonging, coming together and encouraging an active and healthy lifestyle – all of this, and it’s a lot of fun, too! 

Excellent collaboration

The bid process was an excellent example of collaboration. For us to be successful, the Conferences and Events team that led the process had to work closely with colleagues in Sport and Physical Activity (SPA), Residential Services, Catering and Hospitality, Facilities Directorate (FD), Marketing and Communications, Campus Services, Leeds University Union (LUU) and externally with Leeds City Council, which jointly submitted the bid to host the Games.

The city of Leeds and the University successfully hosted the World Corporate Games back in 2008 and was therefore on the radar of the organisers when looking for the 2024 host. The process, which took five months, involved carefully reviewing the requirements of the organisers and working in collaboration with a range of services, as well as the council, to pull together a bid showcasing the best that Leeds has to offer. This included venues not just at the University but at other city locations, such as Leeds Docks for the dragon boat racing and the John Charles Centre for several sports, including tennis.

Dedicated and passionate

As I said, winning the bid was the result of hard work from many colleagues from across the FD, as it will be moving forward to help deliver one of the most memorable UK Corporate Games yet! The event offers an opportunity for dedicated and passionate colleagues from many services to do what we do best – offering exceptional experiences. 

I’m so grateful for the support and expertise of all of those who’ve been involved so far, and to those who will be as we get closer to the Games in July, particularly those in SPA, Residential Services, LUU and Catering and Hospitality, who will play key operational roles in making the bid a reality. 

There will also be an opportunity for staff to get involved and compete in the Games – the benefits of which will be improved wellbeing, being more active and a chance to get to know colleagues from different parts of the University, creating a sense of community. Hopefully, we’ll feature highly on the medal table as well! 

Personally, I’m thinking about squash or maybe running – I won’t win gold in either, but I can’t wait to be involved. Watch this space for further information.

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