8 August 2022
The opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games 2022 featured more than 1,500 professional and volunteer cast members who took part in 250 rehearsal sessions in the build-up to the Games.
One of those volunteers was LSH Auto’s Deanna Richards, who in addition to her day job as an HR administrator, has been using her spare time to prepare for the opening ceremony and to train as a volunteer for the Games.
Deanna said: “Originally, I was volunteering in the production team for the opening ceremony. My role was to support the cast, checking them in and out, making sure everybody was in the right place, helping to run the rehearsals. Nearer the time, I was asked to become a cast member, so I actually performed in the opening ceremony!”
In the spectacular show on Thursday night, a giant mechanical bull, representing Birmingham’s famous Bullring Market was the centerpiece of the performance. Human rights activist Malala Yousafzai gave a powerful speech: “Tonight, teams from 72 countries and territories join the people of Birmingham to celebrate friendship across borders.”
Even bigger than Glasgow’s Commonwealth Games in 2014, the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games is set to be Britain’s biggest multisport event since the 2012 London Olympics.
Deanna added: “It was crazy to perform in front of so many people, in front of royalty and on TV. I’ve grown up with the Alexander Stadium. When I was at secondary school, I used to go there to do my sports day. As locals, we’re all very excited to have such a huge event here. I’m really looking forward to seeing some of the sporting action over the course of the Games and then I’ll be performing again in the closing ceremony.”
Martyn Webb, Managing Director LSH Auto, said: “Giving up her time to volunteer, as well as keeping up her usual high standards at work, speaks volumes about her character. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be part of the Games and to perform in the opening and closing ceremonies. We’re really proud of Deanna.”