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Commonwealth Games criticised for accessibility

Tully Kearney holding her gold medal
Tully Kearney holding her gold medal Image credit: expressandstar.com

The Commonwealth Games has been criticised for its accessible access by a British Paralympian volunteer.

Tully Kearney MBE said she struggled to access the Aquatics Centre in Sandwell suggesting organisers speak to people with disabilities for future events.

This year's games are being billed as the most accessible ever.

It took Ms Kearney 25 minutes to reach the Aquatics Centre from the nearest accessible car park which was “an incredibly long way for an ambulant disabled person to walk, or a wheelchair user to push themselves."

After the first day Kearney, who won a swimming gold medal at the Tokyo Paralympics in the women's S5 100m freestyle, realised she had to make alternative arrangements for the rest of the games.

Her mum, Amanda Kearney, said they gave away their tickets to the opening ceremony rehearsals because there were no accessible parking bays available despite organisers saying there were 800 blue badge spaces every day.

The organisers also stated accessible buggies, shuttle buses and online information have been provided for the games.

Chief executive of Birmingham 2022, Ian Reid, admitted there have been issues around accessible parking.

"We recognise at one or two venues there's high demand for blue badge parking," he said.

A total of 72 countries are eligible to compete in the Commonwealth Games, but also six have taken part.