Commonwealth Games Athlete’s Return event launches Birmingham’s Year of Movement

This Saturday 21st April, Commonwealth Games Athlete’s Return event launches Year of Movement 2018: a celebration of dance, sport and movement across Birmingham – a world-class city for culture. #BYOM2018

Square Dance, Birmingham Weekender 2017

Photo by Steve Eggleton

Following on from the official handover of the Commonwealth Games’ baton to Birmingham, host for the 2022 Games, the city will host a spectacular open-air “Homecoming” party for the UK’s stars of the Games in Victoria Square on Saturday 21 April.

The free public party, compered by Blue Peter’s Radzi Chinyanganya, will be staged by Culture Central with support from partner Sport Birmingham, and National Governing Bodies of sport, and will be a celebratory day of music, sport and dance, as well as the launch day for Birmingham Year of Movement 2018 #BYOM2018

A host of Team England’s athletes from the Gold Coast are expected to attend the event, which starts at midday and runs till 5pm, outside the Council House. The public will get a chance to see the stars, who will also attend a special civic reception.

Inspired by the sporting feats performed in Australia, local people of all ages will get a chance to try a range of “have-a-go” taster sessions, staged by Sport Birmingham, in Victoria Square and adjoining New Street. The wide-range of activities will include basketball, boxing, gymnastics, judo, cycling, rugby 7s – and, of course, netball.

Maybe there will be a future star of Birmingham 2022 among the party-goers? This is the perfect time to find out, with everything to win, and nothing to lose, at the fun taster sessions.

Birmingham Weekender arts festival.

Square Dance, Birmingham Weekender 2017

Photo by Andrew Fox

We have assembled an outstanding line-up of singers and dancers for Homecoming, including Bollywood performers and artists championing the best of rap, grime and pop.

We will once again be celebrating everything that is distinctive about Birmingham’s cultural scene with a focus on dance and music, youth and talent, and featuring the stars of the Handover ceremony.

Monique Deletant, Deputy CEO of Culture Central

The sporting activities will be complemented by a full programme of live arts performances – including Birmingham’s own stars of the Gold Coast handover ceremony.

Erdington rapper Lady Sanity and city spoken word poet Amerah Saleh, who both took part in the Games’ closing extravaganza on Sunday, will reprise their performances. Film-maker Daniel Alexander, whose two-minute short about Birmingham was broadcast at the Games, will also be replayed on the big screen.

Sharing the stage with Lady Sanity and Amerah will be an exciting line-up of regional performers including Afro-fusion dance group ACE Dance and Music, Humanhood, MDK Crew B-Boys, Birmingham MC P-Shand, Bollywood dancers from Shiamak Company, award-winning vocal group Sons of Pitches, and teenage singer Kellimarie, from Coventry. DJ G-Z and Hi-Wave, led by music director David Austin Grey, will keep the crowds moving. Dance in its many forms will have a prominent role as Birmingham cements its reputation as the “city of dance” and prepares for the Urban Street Festival that will be part of the 2022 Cultural Programme of the Games.

2018 is Birmingham’s Year of Movement… and this is just the beginning. #BYOM2018

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