Students from Birmingham Ormiston Academy rehearse the routines which will be performed at Birmingham 2022 welcome ceremonies ©Birmingham 2022

Athletes and officials at the 2022 Commonwealth Games are set to be greeted by ceremonies of A Thousand Welcomes when they arrive in Birmingham next month.

"A Thousand Welcomes is set to be a wonderful celebration of joy and connection for visiting nations and territories of the Commonwealth, and all of the teams will receive a very warm welcome from the local people involved," Birmingham 2022 Festival senior director Louisa Davies said.

Pupils aged 16 to 18 from the Birmingham Ormiston Academy (BOA) and its sister school, the BOA Stage & Screen Production Academy, will join members of the Lynnebec performance company to present the ceremonies which organisers claim will be "uniquely Brummie", a term used in Britain to describe those who come from Birmingham.

"It’s been a fantastic process seeing the young people bring the choreography to life and adding their own twist on things," Lynnebec co-founder Jessica Barber said.

Some 28 young people will perform shows which will be staged at the three Athletes' Villages at the University of Birmingham, University of Warwick and National Exhibition Centre complex.

Performers have been drawn from BOA classes studying acting and have been rehearsing alongside professional dancers including Birmingham-born Vidya Patel, finalist of the BBC "Young Dancer of the Year" competition, back in 2015.

"The most important thing about the ceremonies is welcoming the athletes and giving them a really special slice of where they live and having that message come from them is so powerful," Lynnebec artistic director Catherine Butler said.

Other students will be involved in designing the set and props for the performance.

The performance is expected to include a dance party featuring the rag markets and the Bullring, the major shopping destination in the city.

References to the cuisine of the area are also expected in what is being described as "a fusion of physical theatre and traditional dance."

Performers in the welcome ceremony at Gold Coast 2018 reflected Australia's indigenous traditions ©Getty Images
Performers in the welcome ceremony at Gold Coast 2018 reflected Australia's indigenous traditions ©Getty Images

The ceremonies will be accompanied by audio description for visually impaired members of the audience and are expected to end with an invitation to join the party.

Welcome ceremonies are a traditional ritual at the Commonwealth Games and are performed for each team in the days leading up to the Games.

The flag of each team is raised to the accompaniment of the appropriate national anthem or in the case of some teams, the "victory anthem" to be used for medal ceremonies at the Games.

The welcome ceremony is also expected to include a speech from the team Chef de Mission and a welcome from the Mayor of the Village.