CGF President Dame Louise Martin believes Birmingham 2022 can shine a light on the importance of the Commonwealth of Nations ©ITG

Commonwealth Games Federation President Dame Louise Martin claims Birmingham 2022 will demonstrate that the Commonwealth is "well and truly alive" here.

Dame Louise said she was "hurt" when anyone questions the future of the Commonwealth of Nations which were formally constituted by the London Declaration in 1949.

Athletes from all 72 countries and territories that make up the Commonwealth are set to participate at the Games that are due to start in a little over a week’s time.

Dame Louise believes the 22nd edition of the Games that were first held in 1930 will shine a light on the importance of the Commonwealth.

"When I was at the GAPS [Gather, Adjust, Prepare, Sustain] programme yesterday, I was telling the Para athletes that it is their chance to show everybody that the Commonwealth is active and we are all in it together," Dame Louise told insidethegames after visiting Birmingham City Council's Chelsea Flower Show gold medal-winning Birmingham 2022 display at Cathedral Square.

"Within sport and with the work that we do, we are one family and we all speak the same language.

"When you go into dining rooms, all the countries are mixed up.

"There are no cliques, we stay together.

"When everyone sees what is going to happen over these next eight day, this will showcase to them that the Commonwealth is well and truly alive.

"It does [hurt me when I hear people question the future of the Commonwealth of Nations] because I know what we do and I know what sport can do.

Councillor Majid Mahmood says the Commonwealth Games are the
Councillor Majid Mahmood says the Commonwealth Games are the "best thing that has happened" to Birmingham ©ITG

"We are bringing everybody together.

"When attending Commonwealth Secretariat and Sports Minister meetings, it cements everybody together."

Councillor Majid Mahmood, Cabinet Member for Environment at Birmingham City Council, is a big advocate of the Commonwealth of Nations after his father moved to the city from Pakistan in the last 1960s.

The ethnic make-up of Birmingham changed significantly in the 1950s and 1960s courtesy of immigration from Commonwealth counties.

Birmingham developed large Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Afro-Caribbean communities, with migrants settling in areas across the city.

Mahmood claims there is "no better place" to stage the Commonwealth Games than in Birmingham due to its cultural diversity.

"I think I am safe to say that there is probably at least one person from every single nation and territory that make up the the Commonwealth here," Mahmood told insidethegames.

"For someone like myself who is Birmingham born and bred, this is the best thing that has happened to this city.

"It’s by far the largest event that this city has held.

"I sincerely hope that we can create a great legacy for the younger generation so in 20, 30, 40 years' time they can talk about the Commonwealth and what it meant to them. 

"This event will show the strength of the Commonwealth and show the friendship between the nations and territories.

"They are all coming together for a spectacle of sport over two weeks."