Birmingham 2022 Hometown Heroes Joan Hunter (left) and Sarah Scanlon (right)

Joan Hunter (L) and Sarah Scanlon (R). Photo credit: Birmingham 2022

Two inspiring local champions of community sport in the West Midlands – Joan Hunter and Sarah Scanlon – have been named in Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games’ list of 14 Hometown Heroes.

The campaign celebrates and recognises the diversity of the region by shining a spotlight on those that go above and beyond to develop sport, encourage participation and promote physical and mental wellbeing in their community.

The Hometown Heroes include selfless individuals, made up of coaches, managers, umpires, and fundraisers, who have dedicated their lives to grassroots sport in the West Midlands.

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Joan has been coaching netball in the city for over 35 years, training teams at Harborne, Sutton Comets and South Birmingham netball clubs to name a few. For the past decade, she has coached for the University of Birmingham Netball Club. You can read more about Joan’s story here.

Sarah has been involved with Ernesford Grange Netball Club for 10 years and has taken on numerous roles during this time. She has played in the A team, trained and qualified as an umpire, joined the club committee and recently took on the role of Chair of the club. You can read more about Sarah’s story here.

Ian Reid, CEO of Birmingham 2022, said: “I’m in awe of our 14 Hometown Heroes. Their generosity to their club, whether that’s giving up their time or just being a listening ear, is inspiring.

“Birmingham 2022 promises to be the Games for Everyone, and whilst it’ll be an event that brings together the best athletes in the world, we are also aiming to inspire the next generation.

“Shining the spotlight on these devoted individuals will no doubt encourage participation in sport and physical activity across the West Midlands.”

After receiving hundreds of nominations, the final list of Hometown Heroes was chosen by a judging panel consisting of Sarah Rennie, Chair of Birmingham 2022 Accessibility Advisory Forum; Ammo Talwar, Chair of UK Music Diversity Taskforce; Mike Chamberlain, Chief Executive of Sport Birmingham; Piero Zizzi, Founder of Proud Baggies and Abigail Shervington, Lead Community Engagement Manager at Birmingham 2022.

Applications to volunteer at Birmingham 2022 are open with 13,000 spirited, dedicated and dynamic volunteers required to be the heartbeat of the Commonwealth Games, and become a community of passionate people that help deliver the biggest sporting and cultural event the West Midlands has ever seen.

Volunteering at Birmingham 2022 is an opportunity to give something back, inspire a generation and be a part of something special – like the Hometown Heroes do every day. More information can be found at

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