Basketballs used at Birmingham 2022 are among the items set to be given away ©Getty Images

More than 16,000 pieces of equipment used for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games have been offered to local sport and community groups across the West Midlands region of England.

The initiative has been jointly managed by the Organising Committee, public body Sport England and the United Kingdom Government's Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Bikes, martial arts mats, weights, T20 cricket equipment, basketballs, boxing gloves, weights, cones and bibs are among the items on offer, with non-profit community-based organisations having until September 19 to apply.

These groups must be based in Birmingham, the Black Country, Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire, Hereford and Worcestershire, Shropshire or Staffordshire.

Guidance on applying is available in 15 different languages with the hope of making the process "as inclusive as possible."

Organisers have claimed the giveaway contributes to Birmingham 2022's legacy in the West Midlands region, and it has been welcomed by UK Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston.

"It's fantastic to think the equipment used to set personal bests and Commonwealth Games records will soon be used in community centres and schools across the West Midlands," he said.

"I would encourage all eligible organisations to apply - you could take a piece of Commonwealth Games history home with you, and inspire your community to fall in love with a new sport."

Sport England chief executive Tim Hollingsworth echoed Huddleston's comments.

UK Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston described the equipment giveaway as
UK Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston described the equipment giveaway as "fantastic" ©Getty Images

"The Birmingham Games were one to remember - but it’s now vital that sport and activity in our communities does not stop," he declared.

"It is a wonderful part of the Games’ immediate legacy that kit and equipment that has been part of iconic moments - like England women’s historic first hockey gold - can now go to local groups to support them in their ambition to benefit from playing sport and being active. 

"This was always a key goal: to build a legacy in the community of new opportunities previously not open or easily available to those that want it the most."

Birmingham City Council leader Ian Ward said the giveaway was "one of the most simple, yet direct and effective, ways" to ensure that the West Midlands region benefits from the staging of the Games.

West Midlands Mayor Andy Street added: "It is great news that this equipment will make its way to grassroots sporting safe havens where it can make a real difference - expanding access and encouraging people to get healthier and more active."

In addition to the equipment giveaway, high performance facilities including a temporary sprung floor used for netball and 3x3 basketball, the boxing ring and judo mats are set to be distributed to national sports bodies.