Today, Preet Kaur Gill MP joined with pupils at St Paul's School for Girls to take part in online activities with children in Nigeria in the run up to the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. Preet and the children linked up with Bomas Academy in Jos, Nigeria, and exchanged information about their families, school life and favour subjects. 

Steve Frew, who took gold in the 2002 games and 400m champion Lesley Owusu also joined them at the school for a morning of sporting activities. The event was part of Commonwealth Connections - a partnership between the British Council and the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. It involves 60 primary, secondary, and special schools in the West Midlands linking up with 60 schools across 10 Commonwealth countries. Through the partnership, children explore cultures and beliefs and learn how to communicate with people from different backgrounds and perspectives through sports and arts.  

Preet Kaur Gill, MP for Birmingham Edgbaston, said: “Our wonderful city of Birmingham is one of the most diverse in the world and truly reflects the Commonwealth. It’s fantastic to see Commonwealth Connections promoting collaboration and encouraging young people to make new connections with people from different backgrounds and different countries. 

“The Sustainable Development Goals 2030 affect us all and it’s vital young people, as future leaders, understand why these are so important. By talking to people across the world with different perspectives of how climate change and sustainability is impacting people’s lives is how we show how global Britain can be a force for good.” 

During the event, St Paul’s School for Girls was presented with a British Council foundation level International School Award by the organisation’s Senior Schools Consultant, John Rolfe MBE. The award champions schools that have shown a commitment to embedding international awareness and understanding in their classrooms and curriculums. The £500k Commonwealth Connections project is co-funded by Birmingham 2022 and the British Council.  

The British Council is delivering the project with Birmingham Education Partnership (BEP) and the children’s charity the Youth Sport Trust (YST). BEP has nominated its flagship Birmingham Arts School to lead on delivery of the arts and culture strand of the project. 


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Notes to Editors  

About Commonwealth Connections 

Commonwealth Connections is a joint project from the British Council and the Birmingham Organising Committee for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.  

Running from the autumn 2021 until July 2022, it is twinning 60 schools in Birmingham and the West Midlands with counterparts in Ghana, India, Jamaica, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, Zambia 

The British Council is delivering the project in partnership with Birmingham Education Partnership (BEP) and the Youth Sport Trust (YST).  

Supporting 120 primary, secondary and special schools in Birmingham/West Midlands and across 10 Commonwealth countries to use sport, arts and culture to learn about the Commonwealth and their own identities, in a way that focusses the attention and excitement of young people and their communities on the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham 

About the British Council 

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We build connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and other countries through arts and culture, education and the English language. In 2019-2020 we reached over 75 million people directly and 758 million people overall including online, broadcasts and publications. Founded in 1934 we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. We receive a 14.5 per cent core funding grant from the UK government. 

About the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games    

The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, which will be held from 28 July until 8 August 2022, will be a once in a lifetime opportunity to put the city, the region and its people on the global stage.       

The Games is already proving to be a catalyst for transformation across the West Midlands, attracting new investment and funding, creating jobs and apprenticeships for local people and new opportunities for local businesses, as well as accelerating projects that will ensure the region is ready to host a fantastic sports and cultural celebration.       

Birmingham 2022 will be the Games for everyone, bringing people together from across Birmingham and the region, to provide a warm welcome to millions of visitors during the summer of 2022.     

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