Aston University: Hundreds of Birmingham schoolchildren gearing up to become ‘Commonwealth Champions’

Hundreds of schoolchildren from across Birmingham are to take over The Sir Doug Ellis Woodcock Sports Centre at Aston University for three days of action-packed sports activities to celebrate the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

The ‘Commonwealth Champions’ event is supported by Titan Partnership charity, Aston University and Birmingham 2022’s Bring the Power programme.

More than 400 pupils from 14 Titan primary schools in the city will travel to the University on 21, 22 and 23 June to take part in games such as basketball, water polo and dodgeball in the hope of winning medals and becoming ‘Commonwealth Champions’.

The event aims to help children in Birmingham build their confidence and self-esteem by developing skills such as teamwork, leadership, resilience, perseverance and creativity. Volunteers from a number of companies will be supporting the children across the three days.

Joining the school children will be Birmingham 2022 official mascot, Perry the Bull, on Thursday 23 June.

With Birmingham hosting the Commonwealth Games, this annual event, usually called Aston Olympians, highlights the community spirit and inclusive nature of the city.

Carolyn Chapman-Lees, Chief Executive of Titan Partnership, stated:
“We are incredibly grateful for the ongoing support of Wesleyan and Aston University, and from Hays and Bruntwood for providing volunteers. Also, the support from Birmingham 2022 has been incredible. This cross-sector collaborative approach showcases how we can work together for the benefit of our children and the city in which they live.

“This important and exciting annual event for Titan’s primary schools takes on a special focus this year as we celebrate the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. ‘Commonwealth Champions’ is designed specifically to help our children develop a wide range of social, emotional, and general life skills, all in a fun and inclusive way, whilst also getting involved with one of the biggest events to take place in Birmingham, certainly in their lifetimes.”

The 14 schools involved in the event across the three days are Anglesey Primary School, Bordesley Village Primary School, Brownmead Academy, Chillwell Croft Academy, Cromwell J&I School, Deykin Avenue J&I School, King Solomon International Business School, Ladypool Primary School, Lozells J&I School, Manor Park Academy, St Matthew’s CofE Primary School, Thornton Primary School, Waverley School and Yew Tree Community School.

Saskia Loer Hansen, interim Vice-Chancellor of Aston University, said:
“I am delighted that Aston University is able to make such a positive contribution to the community through this year’s ‘Commonwealth Champions’ event.

“We have supported the annual activity, Aston Olympians, for more than 15 years and we are delighted that as an Official University of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games we are able to continue to support schoolchildren in our city. It is such an inspiring event that gives children a unique opportunity to develop and grow.”

Ashley Winters, Head Teacher at Brownmead Academy, said:
“Our children get extremely excited about this annual event and are even more so this year because it is celebrating Birmingham 2022. This is a really important event for our school because it gives our pupils the opportunity to meet and socialise with other children from across their city whilst also building crucial life skills.

“After the trauma of Covid 19, which has impacted our children deeply, this type of event which celebrates inclusivity and equality in a fun, yet meaningful way, is a wonderful activity for them to look forward to and one that helps them feel really connected to the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.”

James Grinsted, Schools Relationship Manager at Birmingham 2022 said:
“Events like this, bringing together children from 14 schools, are amazing opportunities to showcase the energy of young people and their commitment and enthusiasm for all sports and keeping active, especially with Birmingham 2022 less than 40 days away.

“As part of the Bring the Power Youth Programme, we want to create opportunities for children and young people and celebrate our next generation of changemakers.”