Meet our mascot - Kit
Our Mascot, Kit, during one of his many public appearances
Kit is the official mascot of the 2002 Commonwealth Games. He made his first public appearance at a media lunch for more than 100 international journalists hosted by Manchester 2002 in Kuala Lumpur.
But he became an instant sensation when 500 million people world-wide watched him dance with Wira, the mascot for the KL Games, during the Closing Ceremony in Malaysia.
He also made a guest appearance at the announcement of Manchester Airport's £2 million sponsorship package.
Tony Hill, marketing manager for the Games said: "Everybody who meets Kit falls in love with him. He's very Mancunian - young, vibrant, friendly, dynamic, a little bit mischievous and lots of fun."
When he's not jet-setting across the globe, Kit can be spotted soaking up the atmosphere in Manchester's trendier hang-outs, rubbing shoulders with the stars.
Kit is currently roaming across the Commonwealth of Nations sharing his passion for sport and culture. A 'People Ambassador', Kit will represent Manchester and England for the XVII Commonwealth Games this year.
We sent Kit a questionnaire to fill in so that you can get to know him better.
Job description: “Ambassador for the Games, champion of the athletes, reporter for the Games, best mascot around! I will also be greeting people as they get off planes at the airport.”
Favourite colour and why: “Blue, the colour of the sky that all nations of the Commonwealth sit under and, yes, we do see blue sky here in Manchester folks!”
Favourite sport: “I love all sports, however, my personal fave is the triathlon as it requires skills in three disciplines; running, swimming and cycling. I struggle with weightlifting, as you can see from my sporting image. To be able to communicate with the athletes, I try to walk a mile in their shoes, so I train in all of the 17 sports for the Commonwealth Games.”
“I feel very passionately about encouraging young people, and adults, to get involved with sports, its part of my role as ambassador. Participating in sports is fun, you meet new people and its great for you and it can also lift your confidence in other areas of your life. But what it’s really about is just getting in and having a go.”
Favourite Food: “Chocolate of course! Being a champion for the athletes, however, means that I am in training with them so I have to be careful and make sure that what I eat is healthy and in line with my training. I do sneak off to Manchester’s Curry Mile, which has some interesting restaurants and an international reputation. It’s only every now and then - a mascot has to eat after all!”
Favourite spot in Manchester: “Anywhere I can see the canals. I like the idea that these canals link most of the UK, so if I jumped on a canal boat I could go anywhere and bug anyone about making sure they come to see me and the athletes at Games time. The canals were built for the industrial revolution which began right here in Manchester. Manchester has a lot of ‘firsts’ under its belt you know.”
Favourite Film: “Chariots of Fire and Harry Potter. I did love the Lord of the Rings as well.”
Favourite TV Show: “I love most of the soaps. I often jog down ‘Corrie’ Street when I am training. It’s cool to see your home town on the box.”
Biggest Celebrity you have met: “Her Majesty the Queen. I have also met Sir Alex Ferguson among lots of others! It’s great being a mascot - I have the best autograph collection.”
Hobbies: “I love surfing the web and especially emailing the friends I have made throughout the Commonwealth. I also like to be a bit of a bedroom DJ, the music scene in Manchester rocks! I love collecting mementoes from all over the Commonwealth, I can barely get into my bedroom at the moment. The organising committee for the 2002 Commonwealth Games are looking at moving me out to the City of Manchester Stadium so I can sleep somewhere. After a hard days ‘mascoting’ I love to soak in a warm bath with lots of bubbles.”
What are your hopes for the Commonwealth Games? “The regeneration that has already occurred in and around Manchester and the north west, in preparation for the Games, has already had an impact. But I think the long-range benefits of the Games will be for the next generation of athletes: Today’s kids could be tomorrow’s sports or national heroes!”
“I know they are going to be the best Commonwealth Games ever and what a legacy that is going to be. These Games are going to instil such a pride in the people of the north west and the UK, as only a multi sport event of this nature can do. There is nothing so inspiring then hosting an event on home soil. There is no better way to showcase your country to the world. So make sure you are all part of it.”