The Commonwealth Games will officially get underway later on today, Thursay 28 July 2022, with the opening ceremony in Birmingham.
Nearly 5,000 athletes from over 70 nations and territories will take part in the 19 different sports the multi-sport event will put on, all bidding to win gold, silver and bronze for their country.
However, the athletes will not be the only ones featuring at the Commonwealth Games.
Birmingham 2022 have introduced their official mascot Perry the Bull into the world who will be hoping to meet sportsmen and women, fans and spectators as they descend on the West Midlands city this weekend.
With only a few hours to go before the Games officially begin, here is all you need to know about Perry the Bull and where you can find him...
Who is Perry the Bull?
Perry is a multi-coloured bull who will be featured heavily over the next 11 days in Birmingham. British and Birmingham based actor Guz Khan (Man like Mobeen) introduced Perry on Birmingham 2022’s website and the event organisers have described their bull as: “The best of Brum, second to none, our latest icon is an extra special, multi-coloured bull.
“Perry is a proper Brummie: strong, kind and a little bit cheeky, and he can’t wait to get the party started in 2022 when he’ll be seen by more than a billion people all over the world.”
Perry the Bull was brough to life by the world’s first ever Virtual Mascot Summit. 50 mascot makers from the schools around the West Midlands were able to come together and discuss what they wanted in their Commonwealth Games 2022 mascot.
The aim of the mascot was to represent the identity, history and culture of Birmingham and its’ surrounding areas. Hundreds of entries were submitted in the process but only one lucky winner’s design was eventually chosen.
Why is Perry a Bull?
Birmingham is known for its Bull Ring market which has been in existence for hundreds of year, located near the Bullring shopping centre.
Already standing in Birmingham’s centre is an iconic bronze bull sculpture but Perry now offers a colourful alternative.
Perry has multi-coloured hexagons all over him in a bid to show all the colours of the rainbow as much as possible. The hexagons are also to represent the coming together of the Commonwealth in equal partnership with the diverse communities of the West Midlands.
The Bull is kitted out with blue, red and yellow stripes on his sports kit to represent the flag of Birmingham as well as having a medal around his neck in remembrance of Birmingham’s historic jewellery quarter, which was the largest of its kind in Europe.
The name for Perry came from Perry Barr, the area of Birmingham where Alexander Stadium has been updated and transformed in order to host the opening and closing ceremonies and athletics events of the Games.
What is Perry’s Trail?
Around Birmingham, 17 physical statues and eight digital avatars have been located as a trail in aid of Sport Relief.
The trail gives people an opportunity to participate in fun exercises while visiting Birmingham’s famous sites.
Go to the Birmingham 2022 website to find the map locating all of the Perry the Bulls!