Borobi the blue koala visits Rhondda, Cardiff and Barry Island ahead of 2018 Gold Coast Games

School children and local people in Rhondda, Cardiff and Barry had a rare chance to meet a blue koala today, when Borobi – the 2018 Commonwealth Games mascot – visited Wales.

With just over 12 months to go until the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, the friendly mascot enjoyed a warm Welsh welcome. He also got to experience the excitement that’s already building up in Wales ahead of the 2018 Games.

Guided by hosts from Team Wales, Borobi’s visit kicked off with a song and dance extravaganza at Ysgol Gyfun Cymer Rhondda, Porth where he was greeted by Welsh Government Cabinet Secretary for Education, Kirsty Wiliams AM and Commonwealth Games Wales Chair, Helen Phillips. 

He was then taken on a whistle stop tour of the capital, visiting the Principality Stadium for an exclusive look behind the scenes ahead of the Wales v Ireland Six Nations match.

The final stop was Barry Island Promenade where Borobi met children from Ysgol Bro Morgannwg and Barry Island Primary School for more singing and dancing. They were joined for some friendly rugby on the beach by Welsh rugby player and Gold Coast sevens squad hopeful, Sian Williams.

Helen Phillips, Chair of Commonwealth Games Wales, who are responsible for selecting athletes to compete at the Commonwealth Games, said: “We were delighted to have the company of Borobi today. It’s not often you see a blue koala – or indeed, any kind of koala – in Wales! 

“Borobi’s visit is a great example of how sport can inspire and bring people together in a fun and engaging way.  

“I hope that Borobi enjoyed the children’s singing as much as they enjoyed learning his signature dance moves!”

Helen added: “There’s only just over a year to go until Team Wales competes in Gold Coast, so we really need the whole of Wales and Welsh supporters all over the world to get behind our athletes. 

“Having Borobi with us for the day has been a great boost to that campaign.” 

Education Secretary, Kirsty Williams AM, said: “I am so pleased to be here today at this celebration of sport. I think we all agree watching Wales’ sporting heroes competing at the Commonwealth Games is an inspiration to all children across Wales.

“I am really looking forward to watching the Commonwealth Games next year and seeing Wales’ athletes compete, and maybe even, surpass the 36 medals they won in Glasgow in 2014.”