Victoria Square in Birmingham staged a homecoming for England's Commonwealth Games as it prepares to host the event in 2022 ©Birmingham City Council

Many of Team England's Commonwealth Games star athletes have travelled to Birmingham today as thousands welcomed them back in a big open-air "homecoming" from Gold Coast 2018.

The celebration in the city's Victoria Square followed the official handover on Sunday (April 15) of the Games' flag from the Gold Coast 2018 to Birmingham 2022.

Rapper Lady Sanity and poet Amerah Saleh, who both represented Birmingham 2022 at the Closing Ceremony in the Carrara Stadium in the Gold Coast, were among the performers.

As part of the event, "have-a-go" taster sessions including basketball, boxing, gymnastics, judo, cycling, rugby sevens and netball were staged by Sport Birmingham.

Long jumper Jazmin Sawyers, 23, from Stoke-on-Trent, also starred in the singing competition The Voice and she opened the event with a rendition of Team England's official anthem Jerusalem, alongside Britain's Got Talent winner Tokio Myers.

Sawyers, a Commonwealth Games silver medallist at Glasgow 2014, said: "The Aussie crowds out in the Gold Coast were unbelievable, the noise every time an Aussie athlete came on was incredible, but I know that Brummies can do it better.

"I really, really, want to see support and I just want to people get behind it and love it."

Gymnast Dominick Cunningham, winner of a Commonwealth Games gold medal in the team event and a bronze in the vault, was another performer.

He showed off his skills off stage.

"Seeing everyone here like this today unites everyone," he said. 

"This is what the games are going to do - unite everyone - and it's going to make the experience a lot better.

"We've got four years and I'm looking forward to it."