The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games has unveiled the highly-anticipated route that the Queen’s Baton Relay will take in the West Midlands - and the rest of the host nation - this summer.
The Queen initiated the relay back in October when she placed her message inside at Buckingham Palace and sent it on its way.
The Birmingham-made emblem was tasked with visiting 72 Commonwealth nations and territories over 269 days.
And as the countdown to the Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony on July 28 continues the Queen’s Baton Relay organisers have planned the final leg of its journey in England, where it will travel via land, air and sea to more than 180 communities from Cornwall to Northumberland.
The final countdown to the Opening Ceremony will see the Baton spend 11 days travelling through the host region of the West Midlands, visiting:
- Monday 18 July – Keele, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Kidsgrove, Stoke-on-Trent, and Shrewsbury
- Tuesday 19 July – Ironbridge, Telford, Newport, Lilleshall, Stafford, Stone, Rudyard, and Leek
- Wednesday 20 July – Uttoxeter, Burton upon Trent, Lichfield, Burntwood, Chasewater, and Tamworth
- Thursday 21 July - Bodymoor Heath, Atherstone, Market Bosworth, Nuneaton, Bedworth, Rugby, and Coventry
- Friday 22 July – Kenilworth, Whitnash, Warwick, Gaydon, Stratford-upon-Avon, Broadway, Pershore, Upton-upon-Severn, Malvern, and Worcester
- Saturday 23 July – Redditch, Bromsgrove, Kidderminster, Bridgnorth, Codsall, Rugeley, Hednesford, Cannock, and Walsall
- Sunday 24 July – Wolverhampton, Halesowen, Stourbridge, Dudley, Brierley Hill
- Monday 25 July – Oldbury, Wednesbury, Tipton, Cradley Heath, Rowley Regis, Blackheath, Bearwood, Smethwick, and West Bromwich
- Tuesday 26 July - Castle Bromwich, Fordbridge, Chelmsley Wood, Marston Green, Hampton in Arden, Meriden, Berkswell, Balsall Common, Knowle, Dorridge, Cheswick Green, Hockley Heath, Dickens Heath, Shirley, and Solihull
- Wednesday 27 & Thursday 28 July – Birmingham (full route through the host city will be announced in due course)
What will happen as the Queen’s Baton Relay travels through the West Midlands?
The West Midlands route is jam-packed with highlights of activity. To name a few, it begins with a visit to the Kidsgrove Pump Track in Newcastle-under-Lyme on 18 July, travels by coracle on the River Severn on 19 July, will wakeboard at Chasewater on 20 July, and will visit the Black Country Museum on 24 July. As the Baton nears closer to the host city, the Baton will be abseiled from Galton Bridge on 25 July and board a barge on the Grand Union Canal on 26 July.
From sports days with local schools, to community festivals, people will be able to experience the Baton in many ways. Members of the public are encouraged to get involved with the celebrations and embrace the arrival of the Baton, taking the opportunity to experience the buzz of Birmingham 2022 in their community.
Thousands of Batonbearers, each with inspiring backgrounds and stories, will have the honour of carrying the Baton during the journey through England, including those nominated in recognition of their contributions to their local community, whether that be in sport, education, the arts, culture or charity. Between 40 and 130 Batonbearers will carry the Baton each day, and the Relay will reach hundreds of villages, towns and cities during its tour of the country.
How does this fit in to the Queen’s Baton Relay visits to other parts of England?
Throughout May, the Queen’s Baton Relay continues its journey through the Caribbean and the Americas, with visits to St Kitts & Nevis, Antigua & Barbuda, Bermuda and Canada, amongst others.
Kicking off on Thursday 2 June, the Baton will spend four days in London, coinciding with the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Weekend, celebrating The Queen’s 70th year as Monarch and Head of the Commonwealth.
The Baton will then resume the international journey, visiting the Falkland Islands, Jersey, Guernsey, and the Isle of Man, before touring home nations of Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.
It returns to England on Monday 4 July to commence a 25-day tour of the regions.
What have the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games organisers said about the final journey of the Queen’s Baton Relay?
The organisers explained that Birmingham 2022 is hosting the 16th official Queen’s Baton Relay – a journey which brings together and celebrates communities across the Commonwealth, during the build up to the Games. In England, the Queen’s Baton Relay will provide the opportunity for communities to experience the buzz and excitement for Birmingham 2022, as the 11 days of showstopping sport nears ever closer.
The Queen’s Baton Relay is set to travel the length and breadth of England for a total of 29 days, before culminating at the Opening Ceremony for Birmingham 2022 on 28 July 2022.
Ian Reid, Chief Executive of Birmingham 2022 said: “Whilst the Baton has been travelling across the Commonwealth, we have worked closely with Local Authorities in England to devise a route that engages with hundreds of communities, passing sport venues, historic sites, local schools and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
“Yet the Queen’s Baton Relay is far more than just a journey. It symbolises connecting people from every corner of the Commonwealth, celebrates Batonbearers who take on challenges, and marks the countdown to the biggest sporting event in West Midlands history. And by the time the Baton returns to England for the final leg, 71 nations and territories will have already experienced the magic that comes with it.
“We hope that communities across the country join the excitement, attend events near them, line the streets to cheer on our incredible Batonbearers and celebrate the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.”
CGF President Dame Louise Martin DBE said: “The Queen’s Baton Relay symbolises hope, solidarity and collaboration across the Commonwealth at a time when it is needed most. It continues to inspire people wherever it goes and creates huge excitement for Birmingham 2022 as it journeys towards the Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony on July 28.”
Minister for the Commonwealth Games, Nigel Huddleston, said: "The 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay is coming home. Travelling the length and breadth of England, the Baton will bring the excitement of the Birmingham Commonwealth Games to every region of the country.
“The Relay marks the final countdown to the biggest sporting event to be held in the UK since London 2012, and I hope people come together and line their streets to celebrate this historic moment.”
Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “I’m pleased to hear that the Queen’s Baton Relay route across England has now been revealed as it makes its way towards Birmingham on an epic 72-nation and territory journey across the Commonwealth.
“The final leg of the Queen’s Baton Relay enables communities the length and breadth of England to experience the excitement around Birmingham 2022 before the Baton lands in Birmingham to take centre stage at the Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony on July 28th.”
“What’s also very special is the role played by thousands of Batonbearers - each with inspiring backgrounds – who will carry the Baton on its journey through England after being put forward as a result of their contribution to their local communities. I congratulate all of them and look forward to seeing them in action along the route.”
Cllr Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council said: “The arrival of the Baton back into Birmingham this summer will be a special moment and an occasion to celebrate the city’s vibrancy, creativity, diversity and boldness.
“The two-day route through Birmingham will showcase everything that is fantastic and unique in our communities, and we look forward to announcing the full details in the near future.
“It promises to be a fitting homecoming of The Queen’s Baton with hundreds of inspiring Birmingham Batonbearers carrying the Baton through the streets of the Proud Host City ahead of the Opening Ceremony.”
For more information on the Queen’s Baton Relay, visit: Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay
The information provided on the route through England is subject to local authority approval and therefore could be subject to change.
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