A 10-year-old British-Malaysian girl living in the UK has designed the official mascot for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games
The organisers for the upcoming Games unveiled Perry, a multi-coloured bull, on Monday, 22 March, with less than 500 days left to the anticipated sporting event.
It was also revealed that Perry was designed by 10-year-old Emma Lou from Bolton, Greater Manchester, who had won the national design competition that took place in the summer of 2020.
The competition was open to children aged five to 15 across the country to create a mascot that reflects the identity, heritage, and culture of Birmingham and England's West Midlands.
Emma was told the news that she had won the competition with a special visit from the mascot wearing her design
Emma, whose parents moved to the UK from Kuala Lumpur in 2007, was completely caught by surprise that she won.
"I feel as if I'm in a dream! I think the mascot is great, he looks so cute. I am really excited to come to the Commonwealth Games and it will be amazing to see Perry in the opening ceremony," she said in a statement issued by the Games' organisers.
"I chose a bull because of the Bull Ring in Birmingham, and I decided to use hexagons because they are the strongest shape and the whole world depends on each other," she added, explaining her winning work.
"I am so excited that my design will be seen by so many people!"
Emma and her family were all invited to the Commonwealth Games' opening ceremony that will be held on 28 July 2022 in Birmingham
Emma's father, Eric Lou - a senior academic at Manchester Metropolitan University's Department of Engineering - said, "I am so proud of Emma. It is such an honour for her design to be chosen to inspire the Birmingham 2022 mascot."
Bursting with pride, he added, "I was so impressed. Her design is all about the strength that comes with bringing people together, and that couldn't be a more powerful message right now."
He also looked back at attending the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur and how it was such a memorable experience for him. He hopes that the upcoming Games will be the same for his daughters.
"It will be such a special experience that I am sure Emma will remember for the rest of her life."
It has to be an honour for Emma as Perry will also be the first Commonwealth Games mascot to be brought to life through augmented reality on social media
The organisers said users around the world can summon an animated 3D version of Perry on their phones and pose for pictures with him using a special filter on Facebook and Instagram.
Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games chief executive Ian Reid also said, "Emma's design really stood out amongst the hundreds we received from children all over the country."
"Not only is her mascot cute and loveable but also representative of what Birmingham, the West Midlands, and the Commonwealth movement stands for. She clearly put a huge amount of effort into her entry."