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Huge Commonwealth Games 'homecoming' staged in Birmingham

A live video from Birmingham was played on a screen at the Gold Coast closing ceremony Photo: PA

Many of Team England's Commonwealth Games star athletes will be in Birmingham as thousands are expected to welcome them back in a big open-air "homecoming".

The celebration in the city's Victoria Square follows the official handover of the Games' baton from the Gold Coast to Birmingham, which will host the Games in 2022.

The Birmingham 2022 flag is handed to the Lord Mayor of Birmingham at the Gold Coast closing ceremony Credit: PA

There will be a big stage with music and dance performances - including from those who performed in the official Gold Coast closing ceremony last weekend - and a civic reception for the athletes.

The free event will also have a number of taster sessions for the public to try out some of the Commonwealth sports, including basketball, gymnastics, judo, cycling and netball, among others.

Here's Birmingham City Council leader, Ian Ward:

We are delighted to be hosting Homecoming for the stars of the 2018 Games. This exciting free event, in the heart of Birmingham, is a great opportunity to celebrate the UK's sporting achievements on the Gold Coast and look forward to the Games coming to Birmingham in 2022.

Birmingham excels at sports and the arts, and we love to party, so Saturday's homecoming celebration promises to be a great day-out for the whole family.

– Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Cllr Anne Underwood
Team England's triumphant netball team at Gold Coast Credit: PA

We will be staging sporting demos with top athletes as well as fun, have-a-go sessions from 17 different sports for members of the public. All the sports featured at Homecoming will be part of the official programme in Birmingham for the 2022 Games.

You don't need to be an expert player or competitor to take part. Far from it. All that's required is enthusiasm. And who knows, maybe we will uncover a future gold medal winner?

– Mike Chamberlain, Sport Birmingham