Video from Birmingham 2022, voiced by Birmingham actor Guz Khan, star of BBC Sitcom Man Like Mobeen
The official mascot for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games has been revealed as Perry, a multi-coloured Bull!
The mascot is named after the Perry Barr area, the home of the Alexander Stadium, which will host the Games' athletics events and opening and closing ceremonies.
Perry is a bull to reflect the city's long association with the animal, and is covered in multi-coloured hexagons to symbolise "the coming together of the Commonwealth" in Birmingham.
It is inspired by the design of ten-year-old Emma Lou from Bolton, the winner of a national design competition that took place over the summer of 2020. The competition tasked children aged 5-15 with creating a mascot that reflects the identity, heritage and culture of Birmingham and the West Midlands.
Emma Lou spoke to ITV News about her design and its uniquely Birmingham elements.
What are its nods to Birmingham and the West Midlands?
He is a bull, an animal synonymous with Birmingham for centuries. The city has had a market area known as the Bull Ring since the 16th century; the site is close to the current Bullring shopping centre, with an iconic bronze bull statue at its entrance.
Perry is wearing a medal, which references the city's iconic Jewellery Quarter, the UK’s centre for jewellery and precious metals for more than two hundred years. The area still produces around 40% of the country’s jewellery.
The mascot’s sports kit includes blue, red and yellow stripes, a nod to the colours of the official flag of Birmingham, and the city’s motto, Forward
Perry also becomes the first mascot at any multi-sport Games who will be brought to life through augmented reality, giving people the opportunity to #PoseWithPerry using their mobile phone camera, and via a special filter on Facebook and Instagram.
Users can summon an animated, 3D version of Perry into their living rooms, pose for pictures with him, and can share their photos on social media.
World famous Olympic champion and President of Commonwealth Games England, Denise Lewis OBE, says the mascot "represents the heritage of Birmingham and the West Midlands.
"Perry is right up there with the fantastic mascots I’ve seen during my athletics career, and I can’t wait to see him entertaining the crowds during the Games next year!"
10 year old Emma Lou had a special visit from Perry to her home when she'd won the competition. "I feel as if I’m in a dream!" she says. "I think the mascot is great, he looks so cute. I am really excited to come to the Commonwealth Games and it will be amazing to see Perry in the Opening Ceremony."
Emma was visited in person by the mascot in her home, which took her by surprise! She never thought she'd win and that it would ever happen to her.