Games outreach sites set to bring taste of Commonwealth to communities

The sounds and flavours of the Commonwealth Games are coming to communities across the region through a series of festival sites.

Raidene Carter and Councillor Mariam Khan pose with live site performers and representatives as the festival sites are launched. Photo: Shaun Fellows / Shine Pix Ltd
Raidene Carter and Councillor Mariam Khan pose with live site performers and representatives as the festival sites are launched. Photo: Shaun Fellows / Shine Pix Ltd

The free sites are designed to bring a range of entertainment, food and drink to different parts of the region and provide a place for people to come together with visitors to enjoy the Games, with big screens showing all the action.

Each site will have a daily schedule which includes sunrise stretch sessions, a disco with Perry the Birmingham 2022 mascot, and a showcase of up and coming local talent, with each local authority putting together a list of entertainment for each site.

Emma Smallman from Drum and Bounce who will be delivering fun fitness classes throughout the Games. Photo: Shaun Fellows / Shine Pix Ltd

As well as the main sites at Victoria Square and Smithfield in Birmingham, there will be sites open in the Black Country and Shropshire throughout the Games.

In Sandwell, where the Aquatics Centre hosts 11 days of swimming and diving competitions, there will be a festival site at Sandwell Valley Showground on Salters Lane in West Bromwich between July 25 and August 8.

Dudley, which hosts part of the cycling time trial, will have six festival site days at different locations, starting on August 1 at Huntingtree Park in Halesowen, then going to Silver Jubilee Park in Coseley the next day and Mary Stevens Park in Stourbridge on August 3.

After a days break for the time trial, the next site will be occupied on August 5 at the Dell Stadium in Brierley Hill, then head to Netherton Park on August 6 and finish at Stevens Park in Quarry Bank on August 7.

Wolverhampton will be a hive of activity on August 4 as it hosts the time trial and will also have a festival site on Market Square in the city centre during the day.

Finally, there will be a festival site for Shropshire at Southwater One on Quentin Gate in Telford, which will open on July 28 and run until August 8.​

Tim Hodgson, senior producer for Birmingham 2022 Festival and Festival Sites, said: “The Birmingham 2022 Festival Sites are where sport and culture will combine to provide a fantastic free opportunity for local residents and visitors alike to embrace the Commonwealth Games and celebrate together.

“We are so excited to be profiling the incredible creativity of Birmingham and the West Midlands, creating two Festival Sites for everyone to enjoy, with more details to be announced soon.

"The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games will be a fantastic fortnight of sport, culture and entertainment and we are look forward to welcoming everyone to the party."

Raidene Carter, executive producer of Birmingham 2022 Festival, said: "It's really exciting with less than 50 days to go to see these sites, which are a major part of the Games and where the Games and the festival will really collide with each other.

"Each of the host sites is developing its own programmes, with everything set to spotlight local talents, sport, arts and culture and food and drink and while they're all branded the same, they'll be unique to those areas.

"We want people to start planning their days out and if you haven't yet got the vibe for the Games, you should get yourself down to one of the sites and join in and have a great day out."

Sharon Brown will be a full part of the Games as a volunteer and through Sofunk. Photo: Shaun Fellows / Shine Pix Ltd

Sharon Brown from Oldbury will be providing entertainment through her dance funk group Sofunk, getting people moving to disco and funk tunes, and will also be a volunteer at the Aquatics centre.

She said it was a dream to be involved in such a big event at both levels.

She said: "I was invited to come along and do the festival sites, which was a definite Yes from me, and to have an opportunity to be part of this and get people involved and enjoying the celebrations is just brilliant.

"If there was a scale of pride I feel, it would smash the scale as I doubt we will ever see something this big in my life in the region, so it's an honour to be part of this and I'm so proud to be living in Sandwell and involved in this."

More details about all of the Birmingham 2022 Festival Sites, with detailed information about the full programme for the Victoria Square and Smithfield sites, is available now at birmingham2022.com.

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