IAAF World Indoor Champs team unveils official mascot

Ruby the Red Panda, the official mascot for the IAAF World Indoor Championships Birmingham 2018, has been unveiled today with the help of World Championship 1500m silver medallist, Hannah England.

hannah ruby and joan

Hannah England, Ruby the Red Panda and Joan Durose

Ruby made her first ever appearance at the Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park, which is just a few miles from  Arena Birmingham, the venue for the Championships, which will be held in the city next year, from 1 to 4 March.

The park was chosen as the ideal setting for Ruby’s unveiling as it is home to three red pandas, two adults Mo and Amba and their 11 month old daughter Mambo. The Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park breeds and protects the red pandas and has done since 2005, when one of the new arrivals, Babu, famously went missing for four days, before being found and returned to his enclosure. He was later named ‘Brummie of The Year’.

Championships Director for the IAAF World Indoor Championships, Joan Durose, explained why a red panda had been selected as the official mascot: “By having a red panda as our mascot we hope to increase the profile of these beautiful animals and help raise awareness of the fabulous work that Birmingham’s very own Wildlife Conservation Park does to help protect them.

“Ruby gets her name from the gemstone, because of her sparkling personality and as a nod to the city’s famous Jewellery Quarter, as we’re keen to use Birmingham’s hosting of this major sporting championships, as an opportunity to highlight some of the exciting visitor attractions that the city has to offer.”

Hannah, who lives and trains in Birmingham, and has won national titles indoors and out, said: “It’s so exciting to help launch Ruby the Red Panda, the official mascot for the IAAF World Indoor Championships. Mascots are a great way of getting young people excited about the event and athletics events attract a family audience, so it is really important to appeal to people of all ages. Ruby is wonderful and I’m sure she is going to attract a lot of attention over the next few months.

“It is going to be a very busy summer of athletics but come September athletes will be turning their attention to the indoor season and having the IAAF World Indoor Championships in the city where I’m based is going to provide me with lots of extra motivation to train hard over the winter.”

Ruby will make her first public appearance at the World Championships Team Trials, which will be held at the Alexander Stadium on 1 and 2 July. Hannah England will be competing at this event, with the 1500m heats due to take place at just after six o’clock on Saturday.

Tickets for the IAAF World Indoor Championships will go on public sale later in the year, after what will be a very busy and exciting summer of athletics, including two major events in Birmingham – next weekend’s World Championships Team Trials and the Muller Grand Prix Birmingham on 20 August.

To keep up to date with all the ticketing and other news about the IAAF World Indoor Championships, register now at www.wicbirmingham2018.com for updates.

ENDS

  • The IAAF World Indoor Championships will be held at Arena Birmingham, also known as the NIA or the Barclaycard Arena, from 1 to 4 March 2018. More than 400 athletes from 150 countries are expected to take part in what will be one of the biggest indoor sporting championships of the year.
  • Tickets for the championships, which cost just £5 for concessions and start at £20 for adults, went on sale to priority groups at the end of May and nearly 8,000 were sold on the first day. Tickets will go back on sale later in the year.
  • You can find out more about the championships at wicbirmingham2018.com
  • Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park is home to a unique collection of animals from across the world, including red pandas, lemurs, meerkats, otters and reptiles. Some of the animals are endangered and the park plays an important role in their conservation, by participating in breeding programmes.
  • The World Championships Team Trials will be held at the Alexander Stadium on 1 and 2 July and there are some tickets still available. For more information go to britishathletics.org.uk

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