CGF President Dame Louise Martin, second from left, has heaped praised on Birmingham City Council with eight days to go until the Commonwealth Games are due to open ©ITG

Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) President Dame Louise Martin hailed the contribution of Birmingham City Council in setting the stage for an "outstanding" Commonwealth Games here despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dame Louise met with Councillor Majid Mahmood, Cabinet Member for Environment at Birmingham City Council, to discuss preparations for the Games that are due to open in a little over a week’s time.

The City Council has led on key elements of the planning for the Games including the transformation of the Alexander Stadium that is set to stage the Opening and Closing Ceremonies as well as the athletics events and supported the Birmingham 2022 Festival.

It has also been responsible for the "look and feel of the city" for Birmingham 2022, working with partners such as Transport for West Midlands as well as public engagement and contributing to efforts to maximise the Games' legacy.

Dame Louise spoke of her delight at the work being carried out by the City Council when she visited the grounds of Birmingham Cathedral to inspect the Birmingham 2022-inspired gold medal-winning Chelsea Flower Show.

"I would like to pay huge tribute to Birmingham for setting the stage for an outstanding 2022 Commonwealth Games," said Dame Louise.

"Preparations have faced a number of challenges, including a shortened delivery timescale and an unprecedented global pandemic, all obstacles have been overcome with such a positive and innovative approach.

CGF President Dame Louise Martin, centre, is given a tour of the Birmingham 2022 gold medal-winning Chelsea Flower Show display ©ITG
CGF President Dame Louise Martin, centre, is given a tour of the Birmingham 2022 gold medal-winning Chelsea Flower Show display ©ITG

"The venues look fantastic, the city looks magnificent and I would like to pay particularly tribute to my friend, Councillor Ian Ward, and the team at Birmingham City Council for the hard work and dedication in bringing everything together.

"Congratulations to everyone involved as Birmingham is ready to stage a competition that will showcase the best of city, the country and the Commonwealth."

Dame Louise was given a tour of the floral display by Mahmood and spoke to member of the Council’s parks and nurseries team.

"It is fantastic that the CGF President has recognised the hard work of our team, symbolising the collective effort and dedication of officers across all parts of the City Council since we were awarded the Games in 2017," Mahmood told insidethegames.

"They have been preparing the stage for the spectators, athletes and officials from the 72 nations and territories who will be coming to our great city for what promises to be a bold and wonderful summer, kick-starting a golden decade for the city.

"In the short amount of time we have had in comparison to other cities that have hosted the Games, officers have been brilliant over the past four or five years.

"I have travelled to all parts of the city and everywhere I go people are really excited and that is shown by the number of people that want to be volunteers and the number of schools that have been interested.

"People are talking about the Commonwealth Games."