Peter Beattie ©GOLDOC

The XXI Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, Australia will be remembered for many reasons, not least because of the number of "firsts" that the world witnessed during 12 days of sensational sporting competition and exhilarating arts and culture events.

From the first-ever Commonwealth medals for Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, Cook Islands, British Virgin Islands and Dominica, to a record number of medal winning nations and territories - 43 out of the 71 which competed.

Ours were the Games that delivered equal medals for men and women, the first-ever reconciliation plan for a major event, the biggest integrated Para-sport programme in Commonwealth history, the introduction of beach volleyball and women's rugby sevens and the setting of nine world and 91 Commonwealth records.

For the first time a Commonwealth Games was held in a regional Australian city, giving us the opportunity to show the world where we are, who we are and the passion with which we live our lives.

And that is a very important point for the people of Birmingham. 

Of all the knowledge we transfer across, from venue overlay and competition management to transport, technology, security, medical, ticketing and sponsor attraction, and all other manner of preparatory items, it well may be that the most important lessons we at GOLDOC learned were of people and place.

The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games were held in April ©Getty Images
The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games were held in April ©Getty Images

For all our noble intention of showing the world who we are, we probably learned just as much about ourselves.

Some 15,000 "Games Shapers" played a pivotal role in shaping an unforgettable experience for everyone, from athletes and officials to the spectators - helping show the world how proud, vibrant, committed and friendly the Gold Coast is.

Our Games gave us a chance we would not have otherwise had to look at our place in the Commonwealth and see what is possible when people of talent and determination work together.

The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games were a defining moment in time for our young city, as they will certainly be for one of the youngest major cities in the United Kingdom in 2022.

They will present the people of Birmingham with a once-in-a-generation opportunity; a chance to celebrate, inspire and to create better communities around you.

The Commonwealth Sports Movement, boosted by the outstanding successes of Glasgow 2014 and Gold Coast 2018, will be at its finest in four years' time as the Commonwealth Games continue their rapid ascendancy as one of the world's most significant, dare I say cherished, multi-sport events.

We wish you well and we will be with you every step of the way.

Liam Morgan is away.