With the Olympic Games, Men’s Euros and many other global sporting competitions taking place this year, all eyes will be on sport in summer 2024. 

Manchester has always been known as a leading global sporting city, with an undeniable influence. Since hosting the Commonwealth Games in 2002 Manchester has created a name for itself as a host destination for some of the world's leading sporting events in all disciplines. From leading football clubs to iconic sporting grounds and institutions, sport forms a huge part of the city’s DNA and is one of the biggest draws for visitors to Greater Manchester.  

The last few years have been game-changing for women’s sport, in the UK, the success of the Lionesses has fast-tracked the popularity of women’s football and created new sporting icons. Changing cultural attitudes towards gender roles and stereotypes have contributed to a huge rise in the popularity of women’s sport. 

A recent report by UK Sport, ‘Making Live Sport Matter’ reflects the UK’s ambition to maintain its reputation as a world-leading host nation for sporting events through a dynamic programme of impactful international events in women’s sport. As one of the UK’s most famous sporting cities, and home of the National Cycling Centre, two iconic football stadiums and more, Manchester must play a role in this.  

While most people’s minds go straight to the Manchester City and Manchester United men’s teams when thinking about the city’s sporting legacy, Greater Manchester is also establishing itself as a hub for women’s sport. Manchester City and Manchester United have hugely successful women’s teams with championships, with Manchester United winning this year’s women's FA Cup and Manchester City close runners-up in the Women’s Super League. Plus, the region’s reputation as a European Capital of Cycling and a leading destination for Athletics, Cricket and other sporting events is helping to put some of the region’s rising stars on the map. 

As the hype around women’s sport continues to build, we’re exploring the city’s legacy of sporting greats, past events and future spectacles that are helping to cement Greater Manchester as a sporting hub for all. 

Pole vaulter outside Etihad Stadium Manchester

Sporting Stars 

Over the years, Manchester has created many sporting legends, reaching the pinnacle of their disciplines and gaining global acclaim. While names like Marcus Rashford and Phil Foden are widely known, Greater Manchester is home to some of the biggest names in women’s sport spanning a wide range of disciplines. 

Georgia Taylor-Brown for example, is Great Britain’s most successful female Olympic triathlete winning the silver medal in the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics and a gold in the Triathalon Mixed Relay as well as winning the 2021 Super League Triathalon Championship Series and overall 2022 Season Triathlon Championship title. She is set to represent Team GB in the Paris 2024 Olympics. Then there’s Charlotte Worthington a gold medal-winning Freestyle BMX champion, she was awarded an MBE at a young age for her services to Freestyle BMX Cycling. Dame Sarah Storey, now Greater Manchester’s Active Travel Commissioner is Britain’s most decorated and successful Paralympic athlete winning over 28 medals throughout her career of para-swimming and cycling, 17 of which were gold. Jenny Meadows is one of the world’s leading 800m runners winning various medals in world and European championships. She now trains Keely Hodgkinson, an English Middle Distance runner from Wigan who is a medal hope for the Paris Olympics in 2024. 

Ella Toone plays for both Manchester United and the England National Team and hails from Wigan while fellow Lioness and Barcelona professional Keira Walsh is from Rochdale. 

Other successful Mancunian female athletes include Vicky Botwright, former professional squash player, Karen Barber, Olympic ice dancer and Dancing on Ice head coach, Jade Clarke MBE, England’s most capped netball player. 

Women's England team

UEFA Women’s Euro 2022  

It’s hoped that the Women’s Rugby World Cup 2025 will mirror the success of the women’s Euros in 2022. England’s Lionesses not only took home the trophy, celebrating a historic first win, but they gained a legion of new fans as the entire nation got behind the team. Old Trafford and the Joie Stadium (as part of the Etihad Campus) and Greater Manchester's Leigh Sport Village were amongst of the 10 selected venues for the tournament; reflecting Greater Manchester’s standard and variety of venues. As a city with such a strong legacy in the sport, Greater Manchester was the ideal host location for the tournament’s group stages with fans getting to experience the history and excitement that surrounds the sport in the city. 

Tour of Britain Women 2024 

In June 2024, Greater Manchester hosted the closing leg of the Tour of Britain Women with thousands of fans taking to the streets to show their support. As part of the region’s European Capital of Cycling celebrations riders departed from the National Cycling Centre, the home of British Cycling, before a challenging climb to conclude in Leigh, where the winner was crowned. The race brought together the world’s top female riders and teams for four tough stages. It also marked the first major international stage race delivered by British Cycling Events.  

Women's Athlete

Microplus UK Athletic Championships Manchester 2024 

The 2024 Microplus UK Athletics Championships was a thrilling warm-up for the Olympic Games and the perfect preparation for all athletes looking to take to Paris this summer.  

Taking over the Manchester Regional Arena between Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 June 2024, the event saw elite athletes in both men's and women’s divisions compete in various athletic events. The Manchester Regional Arena is a multi-purpose sport facility next to the Etihad Stadium which was originally developed as a warm-up track for the 2002 Commonwealth Games. Twelve years later the arena continues to host the UK’s leading athletes hoping to break records, set new standards and create a lasting legacy in the run up to the next Olympic Games. 

The Hundred 

Over the years, Manchester has become one of the leading host cities for The Hundred, with Emirates Old Trafford hosting various men's and women's games. Manchester Originals Women and Men represent the city in the high-intensity and exciting cricket tournament.  

Some of the best players in the world join the competition and every matchday features a Women’s and a Men’s competition fixture.  In 2024, Emirates Old Trafford will host several Group Stages alongside music, entertainment and sporting fun for fans of the sport. It’s a great day out and an even better intro to cricket, allowing fans to get up close and personal with some of the region’s best sportwomen.  

Women’s Rugby World Cup 2025 – Salford Community Stadium 

In a landmark moment for the women’s sport, the 10th Women’s Rugby World Cup will be held in England in 2025. Hosting 16 of the world’s leading teams over 32 matches, Women’s Rugby will take centre stage. Salford Community Stadium, home of Sale Sharks,  has been selected as one of the 8 host venues for the sport meaning some of the world’s best players will be heading to Greater Manchester. The world-class event promises to be a historic event for the sport and it’s hoped it will inspire millions of new players and grow the love for the women’s game. 

Planning your women’s sport event in Manchester 

Marketing Manchester’s Conference and Events team has its own sport bidding unit that works closely with MCR Active - part of Manchester City Council, UK Sport and leading federations and governing bodies to help bring global sporting events to the city. Collaboratively, our team works to identify major event opportunities for Manchester and identify long-term bidding targets. 

With a variety of world-class venues and sporting infrastructure across our city-region combined with our track record of delivering world-class events, Manchester’s unique offering to major event organisers is evident.  From UEFA Champions League football to the Rugby and Cricket World Cups, international cycling events in multiple disciplines, to city centre athletics showcases and elite events in para sport as well as regular training camps for elite sport teams, Manchester’s experience is unparalleled.  

Marketing Manchester’s Conference and Events team can support your event through every step of the bidding journey. The Sport Bidding Unit can offer support with the complexities of producing a bespoke bid, to identify venues and training facilities across the city-region. The team can also offer assistance with event planning, accommodation booking, promotional support and providing a first-class welcome to your event stakeholders.  

Contact the team to find out how we can help you deliver an exceptional sporting event in the UK’s sporting capital.