A colourful Opening Ceremony greeted the 400 athletes ©Twitter

A colourful Opening Ceremony saw the Cerebral Palsy International Sport and Recreation Association (CPISRA) World Games get off to spectacular start in Nottingham.

Held in the newly constructed £16 million ($24.9 million/€22.6 million) Harvey Hadden Sports Complex, the Ceremony welcomed 400 of the world’s top disabled athletes from 13 countries with performances based around the theme of aspirations.

Artists from Cirque Bijou, including visually impaired performer Karina Jones, delivered an acrobatic display to the delight of the crowd following the Parade of Nations into the arena.

The British Flagbearer for the Opening Ceremony was taekwondo competitor Samantha Carrington, who expressed her delight at the athletes being given the opportunity to take part in sport against different countries.

"It's a really good platform to show other people that we can compete in sports - and these type of events are getting bigger and better each time,” she told the Nottingham Post.

It's great to recognise different disabilities and bring them all together as one."

Visually impaired performer Kariana Jones also took part in the Opening Ceremony
Visually impaired performer Kariana Jones took part in the Opening Ceremony of the CPISRA World Games ©Twitter

The Ceremony also saw year two students at Seely Primary School display their drawings centred around the idea of aspirations, while several performers from the Nottingham-based arts organisations City Arts and Dance4 delivered a carnival-styled segment.

Speeches from World Games event director Alison Talbot and Nottingham City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture David Trimble officially declared the Games open.

Trimble reiterated Nottingham’s desire to become the fastest growing city for regional disability participation.

It is the second time Nottingham has staged the Games, having hosted the inaugural event in 1989, with competition in athletics, bowls, football, swimming, table cricket and taekwondo due to take place until August 16.

Prior to football competition being held it was confirmed that the venue had been changed to The University of Nottingham’s Highfields Playing Fields, after concerns had been raised about the three pitches which had been scheduled to hold competition.

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