Birmingham 2022: Schools twinned with Commonwealth countries for special project

ITV Central reporter Ravneet Nandra spent the day in Dudley where schools have been paired with Sri Lanka for a special Commonwealth Games project.

Schoolchildren in the West Midlands will learn more about other cultures through a new project twinning them with schools across the Commonwealth.

Commonwealth Connections launches today (February 8) and will see 60 local schools paired with schools in ten Commonwealth countries.

The aim is for pupils to learn about other cultures in the Commonwealth through a programme of sports and arts.

The project was launched at Thorns Collegiate Academy in Dudley, which has been linked up with Ranabima Royal College in Gannoruwa, central Sri Lanka. Pupils from ten Dudley schools were at the event.

Both the Dudley and Sri Lanka schools showcased what they had learnt so far and performed dances to welcome in the partnership. Credit: ITV Central

Both the Dudley and Sri Lanka schools showcased what they had learned so far and performed dances to welcome the partnership.

The project represents a partnership between the British Council and the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Through the twinning project, young people will explore cultures and beliefs and learn how to communicate with people from different backgrounds and perspectives through a programme of sporting and artistic activities. 

A traditional harvest dance performed by the pupils in Sri Lanka

The project will also work with Youth Sport Trust to have athletes as mentors, teaching children leadership and team building schools.

Liz Johnson, Paralympic swimmer and gold medalist, said: "All of those skills that made me the good athlete that I was actually make you a good human as well, a good employee or just a good citizen.

"I don't think often young people get the opportunity to explore what they're capable of."

Perry, the official Birmingham 2022 mascot, also made an appearance. He'll be on a schools roadshow from now till the games this summer.