Commonwealth Day Wales
This year Commonwealth Day Wales was held at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay with a full crowd of spectators and guests to mark the success of Team Wales and the historical impact Welsh sport has had across the Commonwealth.
Birmingham 2022 Team Captain Anwen Butten was joined by Commonwealth Gold Medalists Aled Sion Davies, Gemma Frizzelle and Olivia Breen, as well as bronze medalist squash sensation Tesni Evans and para swimmer Lily Rice, who made her debut in the Games last summer in Birmingham.
As guests arrived, talented harpist, Efa Peake from Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Morgannwg entertained the crowd ahead of the official launch.
Sport was not the only entertainment at the event. Singer songwriter Bronwen Lewis performed her outstanding song ‘Ti a Fi’, and pupils from local primary school Ysgol Gynradd Hamadryad were a central part of the celebrations throughout the morning. In addition to becoming quiz masters to the athletes in Q & A sessions, they sang ‘Dwi’n Gymro Dwi’n Gymraes’ and partnered with talented Bronwen Lewis to close the event with ‘Calon Lan’.
The pupils gave an historical overview of Team Wales at the Commonwealth Games and emphasised the wealth of success Welsh athletes have achieved since the Games began in 1930.
Opera singer Anne Wilkins performed a mesmerising rendition of ‘Novello-Waltz of my heart’.
Birmingham 2022 Chef de Mission Nicola Phillips OBE and multiple Paralympic and Commonwealth Champion Olivia Breen took to the stage to share their Commonwealth stories and pride of representing their Country on the world stage.
Head of Engagement, Cathy Williams and compere of the event said ‘’Commonwealth Day is a brilliant opportunity for us to celebrate Wales across the country, not just the success on the field of play Games time, but the rich talent we have from the arts, history and sport to the next generation. Our event this year, once again demonstrated the strength and depth of talent and integrated passion we all have, and we can’t thank all our guests on the stage and all the guests who came to support and enjoy the event. Diolch o galon.’’
Commonwealth Day is held annually on the second Monday of March, bringing together all 72 Nations and Territories across the Commonwealth.
This year the theme is ‘Forging a sustainable and peaceful common future’. The Commonwealth Games Federation is focussing on promoting ‘the year of youth’ with emphasis on building a better tomorrow for the young people of the Commonwealth.
Representing Team Wales at the Westminster Abbey service was Hockey icon Leah Wilkinson, the most capped Welsh sportsperson in history, who announced her retirement earlier this year.
Rebecca Edwards-Symmons, CGW CEO said ‘’As Team Wales CEO, having the opportunity to fly the flag at Westminster Abbey for Team Wales alongside Leah was wonderful. Knowing back home, we had a strong contingent of passionate staff, athletes and key members and associates who were celebrating all things Welsh was a wonderful opportunity to once again bring Wales and the Commonwealth together.’’
Chair of CGW, Helen Phillips MBE added ‘’ ‘I am extremely proud of our staff, volunteers and athletes who go the extra mile to promote us internationally.
Commonwealth Day across all Commonwealth nations is key in celebrating the importance of the Commonwealth and the importance of us competing as Wales in the Youth and Main Games as ‘Tim Cymru’. We certainly don’t need any encouragement in showing our passion of our homeland, our love for sport, our pride in our culture and respect for the athletes and their sports.’’