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Commonwealth Games handover ceremony puts Birmingham in global spotlight

An international television audience of approximately one billion people watched as Birmingham received the Commonwealth Flag from the Gold Coast during the 2018 Commonwealth Games Closing Ceremony.

As part of Birmingham’s Handover Ceremony (Sunday 15 April), titled ‘Go the Distance’, some of the region’s most talented young people performed – showcasing what the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games will offer.

Birmingham’s segment included a song from Erdington rapper Lady Sanity; a spoken word piece by Sparkhill poet Amerah Saleh; and a short film by Oldbury film-maker Daniel Alexander. The special celebration event culminated in a live dance spectacle in Victoria Square, featuring 400 young performers, set to ELO’s Mr Blue Sky.

Anita Bhalla OBE, Board Director for Creative Industries at the Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP), said:

Through a spectacular feat of choreography and cinematography, Birmingham showed the world that it has the vibrancy, youthfulness, diversity and ambition to put on an incredible show for the Commonwealth in four years’ time.

The handover ceremony gave the region an opportunity to showcase its thriving creative industries to a television audience of one billion people. Through a combination of rap, spoken word, film and a hugely ambitious dance performance, we gave a platform to our young talent and celebrated this area’s bright future.

We are sure that the event will leave a lasting impression on global spectators, encouraging them to come and visit the region, boosting our growing economy.”

The 2022 Commonwealth Games will take place in venues across Greater Birmingham and Solihull, and throughout the West Midlands, between 27 July and 7 August. The Games are expected to help continue to drive prosperity for Greater Birmingham and Solihull’s people and businesses, providing a platform for trade and acting as a catalyst for growth.