The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games has revealed its Official Mascot, Perry - a bull adorned with a patchwork of multi-coloured hexagons.
Organisers say Perry - named after the Perry Barr area of the city, where the Games will take place - will be 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.
The mascot is inspired by the design of ten-year-old Emma Lou, 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
The winning design was combined with the findings of the first ever Virtual Mascot Summit in July 2020, hosted by Olympic heptathlon champion and President of Commonwealth Games England Denise Lewis OBE and TV Presenter Radzi Chinyanganya, who hails from Wolverhampton.
The summit saw more than 50 children from across Birmingham and the West Midlands take part in tasks to develop the mascot’s characteristics, values and movements, helping to inspire Perry’s personality.
The bull - a reference to the city’s Bull Ring area - features rainbow coloured hexagons representing the coming together of the Commonwealth nations, and wears a medal, which references not just the Games, but Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter, which produces around 40% of Britain’s jewellery.
“Perry is everything I hoped our mascot would be and more: bright, colourful, energetic and totally representative of modern Birmingham and the West Midlands. Perry celebrates diversity, community, and our region’s heritage as well as its future,” said Ian Reid, CEO, Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
“From today, Perry becomes a powerful icon for Birmingham 2022 all over the world, and you’ll be seeing a lot more of him during the countdown to the Games. He is a symbol of the coming together of the Commonwealth in Birmingham, and I am sure young and old will love him as much as I do!”
Emma Lou, who was told the news she’d won the competition with a special visit from Perry to her home, said: “I feel as if I’m in a dream! 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.
“I chose a bull because of the Bullring in Birmingham, and I decided to use hexagons because they are the strongest shape and the whole world depends on each other. I am so excited that my design will be seen by so many people!”