Last week saw Birmingham welcome back our Commonwealth Games athletes from the Gold Coast of Australia.
Birmingham will be hosting the next Commonwealth Games in 2022 and this was the perfect introduction to the build up that event.
The Commonwealth Games England Team consisted of over 400 athletes representing England in 18 sports. Altogether, England won 136 medals (only beaten by the home nation with 198), and Athletics brought home 17 of those with 5 Gold, 5 Silver and 7 Bronze. Click here to find out more.
England Athletics Head of Coaching Martin Rush said, "The Birmingham Celebration event was a great way to round off the 2018 Gold Coast Games and look forward to Birmingham 2022. 17 medals, 3rd in the medal table and 2nd in the points table, 2 British Records and 1 English National Record were the headlines. Behind the headlines were the personal triumphs of individual athletes and the relay teams competing ‘down under’ in April with 41 athletes competing for the first time in a multi-sport games. Gold Coast 2018 also featured an integrated programme of para events and the 17 athletes we took flew the flag proudly, none more so than Jade Jones who had the honour of being Team England flag bearer at the closing ceremony."
A team from England Athletics Head Office were also present and were kept extremely busy dealing with an enthusiastic public at the England Athletics promotional tent - giving out information on the sport and how to get involved.
England long jumper Jaz Sawyers had recorded a new version of English Anthem Jerusalem with Britain’s Got Talent Tokio Myers prior to the Games. She returned to Birmingham as a Commonwealth athlete but also sang the Anthem at the Homecoming event.
The Lord Mayor of Birmingham Councillor Anne Underwood said: "We are delighted host Homecoming for the stars of the 2018 Games. This exciting free event, in the heart of Birmingham, was a great opportunity to celebrate the UK's sporting achievements on the Gold Coast and look forward to the Games coming to Birmingham in 2022."
On behalf of Sport Birmingham, and Dennis Kennedy who led the event planning and management, I applaud the effort you made to bring your sport into central Birmingham on the day and the enthusiasm and welcome from the members of your teams which provided a great atmosphere.
You can watch the event video at https://vimeo.com/266086364