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For the love of the game

    Sports are a big deal in our family and we are super delighted to be living in the host city for the 2022 Commonwealth games. Already I can feel a buzz growing, with new buildings and transport infrastructures popping up around the city – I entered a ballot last year so luckily I’ll be taking Arlo to the games in August

    Birmingham is home to people with roots in more than 180 countries which helps make the West Midlands such a welcoming place. Coming together after challenging times will showcase the unity and resilience of our neighbourhoods and communities and the rich diversity that makes our people proud to be Brummies. This summer, as thousands of volunteers welcome our visitors, they too will experience the warm and friendly spirit of the people who call Birmingham and the West Midlands their home.

    Everything we do at the moment revolves around who runs the fastest or jumps the highest or is overall the strongest. Sometimes it’s exhausting trying to keep up with him and so we have enrolled Arlo in to sports clubs to burn off all of that extra energy. Every week he plays football and goes swimming and it’s such a sense of achievement every time he brings a certificate or award home.

    I’m extremely passionate about allowing children to enjoy sports and believe it’s crucial not only for developing a healthy lifestyle but encouraging team work and social skills as well as learning about the value of hard work and putting effort in to reap the rewards. The impact the London 2012 Olympics had on British sport is apparent with so many young athletes pulling through the ranks and starting to represent the country on a global platform, so we are hoping for a repeat. Who can forget all of these Memorable moments?

    During 2021 we were so proud to be cheering on one of our own Cities footballers during the Euros, Jack Grealish, who played for Aston Villa put Birmingham on the map, as he became the superstar of the tournament for his antics on the pitch as well as his other ‘attributes’ (ahem). It was with mixed emotions we saw him transfer to another club before transfer deadline date but wow, what an inspiration to us all. His transfer was for a record breaking amount!

    His story is one which starts from childhood and shows how much the beautiful game can really change your life. Now I’m not going to force Arlo in to football in any way shape or form, but he can’t really escape it – the sports mania always takes over in our household! Whilst I’m a proud brummie and my parents are split between the city clubs they support, his dad is a Tottenham Hotspur’s fan as he is from the south east.

    The year Arlo was born, in 2017 the home stadium for Tottenham, White Hart Lane was undergoing a multi million pound renovation and so the team played their home matches at Wembley – the home stadium of English football and so we took the one chance we would get to take Arlo to his first big game – at only a few months old and prepared with Ear Defenders we watched a pre season friendly and that’s where his journey with football began

    These days as well as being on his own team at a little club, he’s also never without a football and likes to turn any open space in to a pitch. The garden has been taken over too and it’s all fun and games, but taking care of the lawn in the summer is a bit of a chore.

    Beyond the sporting events, there is even more excitement with the Birmingham 2022 Festival, our cultural programme, beginning in March, designed to entertain and engage whilst inspiring lasting change. One element of the festival is the ‘Creative Cities’ project, in partnership with Birmingham City Council, which will provide Community Groups within the city the chance to work with artists to create artistic projects.

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