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Sunday, 16 June, 2002, 08:46 GMT 09:46 UK
Special welcome for the Games
One man has a special reason to welcome the Commonwealth Games to host city Manchester.
Councillor Roy Walters became Lord Mayor of Manchester in May, only the second black person to take the role.
And Roy, 65, who took office as the city geared up to stage the sporting extravaganza, boasts a Commonwealth background himself.
He was born and educated in the parish of Clarendon, Jamaica, and came to live in the Moss Side area of Manchester when he settled in the UK in 1958.
An ex-bus conductor and depot operations manager, Roy was awarded a BEM in 1983 for services to transport.
He became a local councillor for Moss Side in 1998.
He told BBC Sport Online: "The Games have been the spark for a massive regeneration of East Manchester and regeneration has been a theme all over the city, including my own area of Moss Side.
"They will promote Manchester as a vibrant city that is being rebuilt for the 21st century. We have a lot to offer visitors - from universities and libraries to hotels and conference rooms.
"There are new top class sporting arenas like the stadium, velodrome and squash and netball facilities.
"After the Games they will be available for national and international use - but for local people too. The prices will be affordable so the people of Manchester can access them.
"We have secured enough money to create over 6,000 jobs and that is also part of the legacy of the Games.
"My hope is that all our diverse communities will feel regenerated and will have a part to play in the future prosperity of this marvellous city of ours."
He believes the event will act as an advertisement for Manchester.
"The Commonwealth Games will be our showcase to the world.
"It will be a great opportunity for the people of this great city to participate in the biggest multi-sports event the UK has ever seen and to meet people from all over the Commonwealth.
"I too was once a new arrival from a Commonwealth country, Jamaica, and I know how important first impressions are.
"With the Games here, it will be a delight to talk and listen to people from the various countries.
"I know we will leave an unforgettable impression in the minds of all our Commonwealth visitors. They will get a warm welcome."
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