Manchester and Salford to host first Gratitude Games in 2022

Greater Manchester and Salford will host the inaugural Gratitude Games next spring to raise funds for mental health services for emergency responders.

gratitude games

Raising money across the region

Competitors from all emergency services will take part in 20 sports at venues including Heaton Park, MediaCityUK and the various facilities at the Etihad Campus.

The Olympics style event will be open to over 20,000 athletes at any skill level, with healthy competition between the services expected to bring plenty of atmosphere and intrigue.

Entrants will also compete for one of thirteen UK regions to ensure competitiveness and foster team spirit.

Figures show that half of NHS workers feel their mental health has declined since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, and one in four emergency services personnel have considered ending their life.

Organisations such as St John Ambulance, Mountain Rescue and the RNLI are also being encouraged to take part alongside the NHS, police and fire service.

Money raised from the Games will be divided between mental health support services, including Police Care UK and The Fire Fighters Charity.

Star backing

Ex Sale Sharks and England rugby player Charlie Hodgson is a Games ambassador and has thrown his support behind the event.

He said: "Becoming an ambassador for the Gratitude Games was a no-brainer. I know from experience that being in a highly charged environment can lead to huge mental strain and it is vital we do everything we can to protect those who give their lives to protect us. “It's obviously impossible to thank every single person who works for the Emergency Services, so this is a way for me to show how much I appreciate what they do each day. I can't wait for the Games to get started."


Venue breakdown

The event is taking place between April 27 and May 29 next year, with the majority of the action being held across the region.

  • Atlantic Bowl Altrincham: Tenpin bowling
  • Belle Vue Leisure Centre: Badminton, laser run and table tennis
  • Clayton Vale: Mountain biking
  • East Manchester Leisure Centre, Beswick: Swimming
  • Etihad Campus: Athletics, indoor rowing, squash, tennis
  • Heaton Park: 5k/10k road race and lawn bowls
  • MediaCityUK: Triathlon
  • Worsley Park Marriott Hotel: Golf

Some events are taking place further afield - archery for example, will take place at Lilleshall in Shropshire.

Entries open for all events on September 30, so you have time to pick which sport you want to enter.

You can find our more information at, including details on their Crowdfunder.

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