Matt Windle

Birmingham Poet Laureate 2016/18

Young Poet Laureate 2007/08


Every childhood ambition

and every podium pursuit

Every legend that you can name

Grew from grassroots

But their stories are not linear

Each one of them,


Forged by diverging paths, allowing them to impact those they meet

They harness ingrained passions

embracing fortitude and pride

These are the traits that you, and I – and they – possess inside

But, for their communities, they go above

and for others they go beyond

When a world of difference reverberates

through actions they respond

Their skillsets are encouragement for a welcomed and friendly change

The devotion of local folk now sees us on the global stage

Our home consists of pioneering trailblazers

Those that see the world a little differently and slam-dunking innovators

Hearty individuals that have a hunger to impact

And with each obstacle that they oppose,

their infectious love remains intact

They break their backs to make a difference

and wrestle with the challenges day-to-day

Fighting to imbed authenticity into the fabric of their DNA

So, wear your change with conviction

and encourage those in your vicinity

It’s an integrated games for us,

supporting all abilities

These actions aren’t for plaudits, for finance or for fame

It’s an instinctive purpose to help others shine

without the need to know their name

But we need celebrate their achievements

because when culture and sports combine

We witness a rebuilding of the bridges

and we see the best of humankind

‘A healthy mind in a healthy body’ is a phrase that has endured

There are infinite ways to express oneself and you must do what is right for you and yours

So, continue to take inspiration from the actions of those around

But you never know;

You could well be an unsuspecting hero

in the eyes of your hometown.