CHILDREN across Worcestershire are being invited to get creative and design a mascot for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
The contest, open to children aged five to 15, tasks entrants with creating a Birmingham 2022 mascot which reflects the identity, heritage, and culture of the West Midlands and embodies everything the region stands for: youthfulness, diversity, dynamism and creativity.
Youngsters who submit a design can win tickets to the Opening Ceremony of Birmingham 2022.
The entries that best reflect these attributes will inspire the official Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games mascot, which will be seen by over 1billion people and become an iconic symbol for the region in the run up to and during the games.
The nationwide search to find a ‘Mascot Maker’ follows the staging of the world’s-first ‘Virtual Mascot Summit’, hosted by President of Commonwealth Games England and former Olympic heptathlete Denise Lewis OBE, alongside TV presenter Radzi Chinyanganya.
The summit saw children from across Birmingham and the West Midlands take part in various tasks to help develop what the mascot looks like, as well as what its characteristics, values and movements should be.
They were supported by elite athletes as part of the summit, including sprinter and para-athlete Katrina Hart, squash player Sarah-Jane Perry, Team England basketball player Kofi Josephs, rhythmic gymnast Mimi-Isabella Cesar and Commonwealth champion gymnast Dom Cunningham.
The summit marks the start of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games calling for children across the country to submit their own mascot designs.
The best entries from three age categories will win tickets to the Commonwealth Games’ spectacular opening ceremony.
Meet the judges
Entries will be judged by a panel that includes Team England athletes Sarah-Jane Perry (squash), Katrina Hart (athletics) and Sarah Davies (weightlifting).
The winning design will be brought to life by including the key personality traits and values that come from the Virtual Mascot Summit and will be used to create the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games’ official mascot, which will be revealed later this year.
Designs can be drawings, paintings or collages.
There will also be exciting new teaching resources to encourage children to learn about the role of mascots in major sporting events before designing their own Birmingham 2022 creation which schools across the region have already been using ahead of the school summer holidays.
Chief Executive of Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, Ian Reid, said: “Birmingham 2022 will embrace and champion youth, diversity, humanity and pride in the region and the Commonwealth, and we’re thrilled to invite children across the UK to create our mascot.
“The Games will be a true celebration of world-class sport and culture and aims to leave a lasting positive impact.
“Our mascot will become an international icon for the Games, and this is a great opportunity for children, parents and teachers nationwide to take part to help us welcome the world to the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.”
Rallying call to children to take part
President of Commonwealth Games England and former Olympic heptathlete, Denise Lewis OBE, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for children to create a lasting legacy for Birmingham 2022 which will be recognised around the world.
“I was born and bred in the West Midlands, and as a parent I’m excited to get behind the search for a mascot and encourage families to take part.
“I’ve seen some fantastic mascots during my athletics career, so the bar is set pretty high for Birmingham 2022, but I’m confident that children across the country can create something spectacular that will become an icon for the Games and inspire future generations.”
And Para sprinter, Katrina Hart, who won gold in the T37 100m at the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games said: “Mascots are iconic figures for any sporting event, and it’s important that they appeal to both fans and athletes alike.
“A mascot is not only a symbol of the Games, but also of a region’s diverse culture and history, and it’s so exciting that children now have the chance to design a mascot that will represent the Birmingham and the West Midlands.
“I can’t wait to help judge the designs and find out which animal, person or character will become the symbol for Birmingham 2022!”
Basketball player Kofi Josephs, who made his Commonwealth Games debut at the Gold Coast in 2018 said: “I have fond memories of the Gold Coast 2018 mascot, Borobi, so the bar has been set high for Birmingham 2022!
“But with kids’ creativity taking charge, I’m confident that the final design will be inspiring and bring people together as a celebration of the amazing culture and history across Birmingham and the West Midlands as part of the ‘Games for Everyone’.”
The mascot will play a leading role in fulfilling Birmingham 2022’s mission to bring people together, improve health and wellbeing, help the region to grow and succeed, be a catalyst for change, and place the region on the global stage.
They can be entered into the competition by visiting Birmingham2022.com/Mascot and the competition closes on August 5.
Visit Birmingham2022.com/Mascot to download curriculum-aligned resources for schools, teachers and parents currently home schooling so they can help children participate in the competition.
There are resources for Key Stage One, Key Stage Two and Key Stage Three.
They provide information on the role of mascots at major international sporting events, the history of the Games, and the values of Birmingham 2022.
To submit an entry or find more information about the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games mascot competition, including the entry form, teaching resources and the full terms and conditions, please visit Birmingham2022.com/Mascot