Monday, July 2, 2012

Olympic Torch Relay 2012, Birmingham, UK

One of the reasons why I visit Birmingham year after year during my summer vacations is that it is a great place for my daughter to learn and play. While in India we would be stuck indoors most of the time cribbing about the lack of electricity or feeling lazy in the air-conditioning, in Birmingham there is just so much to experience.

Looking at the enormous amount of activities that took place in Birmingham on 30th June 2012 made me angry, angry at the state in which the Commonwealth Games were held in Delhi a while back. Birmingham went ahead and held free events all around the region simply because the Olympic Torch was passing through, and all we did in India was try and uncover scandals which have resulted in nothing.

Nevertheless, this post is about the fun-filled, educational, informative, and again most importantly free events that took place in Birmingham. I and my family attended the ones at Brindleyplace and The Mailbox where as Bullring and Cannon Hill Park were two other venues that I am aware of.

Life only sometimes gives you a chance to knock down your wife without any repercussions. 
I was not going to miss my chance.

Brindleyplace was transformed into a mini arena of sorts with games and demonstrations happening in-between music, laughter, and the gentle sounds of water rustling in the fountain. Table Tennis (I refuse to call it Ping Pong :-), Hula-Hoops, Fencing, Bouncy Castle, Sumo Wrestling, Long Jump, Dance, and a sunny day, everything was catered towards all ages. In fact, the always wonderful staff of Brindleyplace were handing out "medals" to everyone who participated (or you could just ask them for one), which added a bit of extra excitement for the young (and the young at heart).

As the events at Brindleyplace culminated around mid-day, The Mailbox was just starting with its presentations. They were to carry on till the time the Olympic Torch Relay passed by at 7:24 in the evening and consisted of an indoor makeshift Tennis court, dance performances by local dance groups and universities promoting regional talent and opportunities, stage play/musical performances, and areas for both young and adults to indulge in arts and crafts. The performances were spread over different venues within the Mailbox, with repeat showings in some cases, so everyone got to enjoy them without over-crowding. Add the "coke-mobile", one of two in the world, to the entire setting with free souvenir ice-cold coke bottles being handed out, and you can expect long lines and excitement.

The Olympic Torch Relay in itself was only a few seconds of watching the torch go by, but the jubilations that took place around it, and the pride the region displayed in it was certainly a lesson to be learnt and glorified the spirit of Olympics.

The amount of well organized fun activities that took place in Birmingham on the day of the Olympic Torch Relay should be applauded. Thank you for making the day eventful and entertaining.    



  1. That was an excellent coverage of the events held. I can already sense the fun and merriment in the air. This is what is called the real celebration of the spirit of the games uniting so many nations. Wonderful, many thanks for sharing. :)

    1. Thanks Arti, the excitement is truly infectious. Thanks.