Birmingham : A warm and uniquely Birmingham-style Brummie welcome will be accorded to the Indian contingent when it arrives at one of the three campus villages for the 2022 Commonwealth Games in a few days.
Spread across the West Midlands region, contingents reaching the three campus-like athletes’ villages will be given a rousing welcome by the local students and Birmingham-based theatre professionals on arrival at their assigned dwellings for the fortnight-long extravaganza to be held from July 28 to August 8.
Dubbed “A Thousand Welcomes”, the ceremonies are performed by a local multidisciplinary performance company and students aged between 16 and 18 from Birmingham Ormiston Academy, BOA Stage & Screen Production Academy and will offer a colourful welcome to competing athletes and officials.
The ceremonies will take place at one of the campus villages and will include a welcome speech from the Chef de Mission and the raising of the national flag whilst the national anthem is played.
The final rehearsal for the unique welcome ceremony for the 6,500 athletes and team officials from the 72 nations and territories was conducted on Thursday.
Celebrating the Ccty’s innovation, community and diversity, the welcome ceremonies will showcase the city’s heritage of dance and cuisine, as well as share stories that have inspired the people that make Birmingham their home, the local media reported.
The 30-minute performance will include a dance party, featuring Birmingham’s famous rag markets and Bullring, unsung heroes of the city, iconic Birmingham dishes and a fusion of physical theatre and traditional dance.
The welcome ceremonies will reflect the diversity and youth of the host city and region, delivering a fun and fully accessible experience (which includes an audio description for visually impaired audience members), ending in an invitation for the athletes to join the party.
“A Thousand Welcomes is set to be a wonderful celebration of joy and connection for visiting nations and territories of the Commonwealth and all of the teams will receive a very warm welcome from the local people involved,” Louisa Davies, Senior Producer for the Birmingham 2022 Festival, was quoted as saying in the reports.
“The two Birmingham-based companies delivering the welcome ceremonies have created something that is vibrant, full of energy and representative of the host city and we are delighted to involve young, local students to be part of the Games in this way,” she said.
The three campus villages have been set up for the Games at the University of Birmingham, the NEC and the University of Warwick.