Nottingham prepares to ‘Welcome the World’

Credit Anthony Hopwood

Nottingham 2015 Cerebral Palsy International Sports & Recreation Association (CPISRA) World Games

Final preparations are underway ahead of Sunday’s opening ceremony when the Nottingham 2015 CPISRA World Games will be officially declared open.

Nottingham will welcome around 400 athletes and their teams from 13 nations during the Games. Athletes, coaches, officials and volunteers have been arriving from around the world to Nottingham since Wednesday for accreditation and to settle into their accommodation, located at Nottingham Trent University’s City Centre Campus, ahead of the competition.

The opening ceremony, directed by acclaimed actor/director Jamie Beddard, who has cerebral palsy, will be themed around ‘Aspirations’. It will focus on the athletes’ hopes for the competition, their expectations for the Games and the hard work they have invested into training for the event.

Nottingham arts organisations City Arts and Dance4 have been commissioned by the local organising committee Cerebral Palsy Sport to produce ceremonies for the Games.

The idea of Aspirations was explored with year two children at Seely Primary school, and their drawings and voices will be central to the opening ceremony. Magical moments from the artists of Cirque Bijou will punctuate the show, while the dancers from Dance4 and performers of Unanima Theatre Company will carry the audience through the story.

Arts organisation City Arts says there will be some musical surprises to look out for on the way.

Alison Denholm, Creative Programmes Officer at City Arts, who is co-ordinating the ceremonies programme, said:

“City Arts assembled a team of world-class artists to create an opening ceremony that celebrates the achievement, ambition and aspirations of the athletes competing in the World Cerebral Palsy Games. The creative team have worked with local people to produce a spectacular show combining music, dance and performance.”

The ceremony will include a procession of competitors from around the world lead by Carnival Queens from East Midlands’ carnival troupes. Speeches will follow from by the Event director Alison Talbot and Nottingham City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture, Cllr David Trimble followed by a specially choreographed dance piece before the Games are declared officially open.

The sporting competition begins on Monday with Football and Bowls, whilst Swimming and Athletics get underway on Thursday.

The closing ceremony will take place on Saturday 15 August, focusing on ‘Transformations’: the athletes’ experience of the games, the new friendships they have developed and their sporting achievements.

The Nottingham 2015 CPISRA World Games will bring together nations from around the world to compete in sports: athletics, bowls, swimming, table cricket, para- taekwondo as well as well as the inaugural IFCPF Under 19 CP Football 7-a-side World Championships.

CPISRA is committed to enhancing the opportunities for people who have cerebral palsy or a related neurological condition to access sport and to participate in the particular sport or leisure activity of their choosing.

Alison Talbot, World Games Event Director said:

“For the athletes taking part, the CPISRA World Games will likely be their first opportunity to compete at a national level – it will be quite an experience for these young athletes. We feel the theme really captures the essence of this and we can’t wait to see how the hopes and experiences of all those involved are brought to life during the ceremonies.”

The majority of the Games are being held at the £16 million redeveloped Harvey Hadden Sports Village. The investment into state-of-the-art facilities which include an 8 lane 50m pool mark the end of the council’s transformation programme to create fewer, better quality leisure facilities across the city.

Cllr Dave Trimble, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture, said:

“We’re delighted to be able to play our part in supporting this international event which returns to Nottingham after 14 years. Nottingham has a strong track record as a sporting city; in particular we have a commitment to support disability sports with our pledge to become fastest growing regional city for disability sport participation. The World Games are a key milestone in helping us achieve this. We hope the Games do inspire others and leaves a legacy to help make disability sport accessible to all. On behalf of Nottingham City Council I wish all those taking part every success and a wonderful games experience.”

Tickets for both ceremonies and competitions are still available and can be booked online or in person at Harvey Hadden reception http://www.cpsport.org/nottingham-2015-world-games/tickets/

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