Beijing may have the Olympics but Leeds is about to host its own major sporting event: the World Corporate Games are coming to town on Friday. It's a team-building event on a massive scale which attracts contestants from corporations around the globe.
"Over 6000 delegates will descend on the city to battle it out in a series of sporting events. These 'weekend sports warriors' will play in their corporate colours, hoping to show their competitors who's boss outside the boardroom."
Over 6000 delegates will descend on the city to battle it out in a series of sporting events. These 'weekend sports warriors' will play in their corporate colours, hoping to show their competitors who's boss outside the boardroom. The organisers stress that there are no political or national ideologies involved, but with scientists pitched against artists, politicians against the police, and bankers against builders, we're thinking it could still get quite competitive.
Local organisations who are taking part include Yorkshire Bank, Leeds City Council and law firm DLA Piper. They'll be competing in more than 20 sports including rugby, tenpin bowling and volleyball at venues across the city. Like the Olympics, the Corporate Games will have an opening ceremony with a grand parade on Saturday from Victoria Gardens to Millennium Square. Unlike the Olympics, there are no qualifying standards for participants (and they don't even need to have previous experience) so we're not that confident of its value as a spectator sport.
Nonetheless, the event will be great news for the city's leisure industry. In between the soccer games, dragon-boating, and the inevitable golf matches, the corporate competitors will be enjoying Leeds's bars, restaurants and tourist attractions. These Corporate Games have attracted more interest from participants than any other, so even if our local teams don't take home any medals, the city should still come out a winner.