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 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. Kicking off on Thursday 2 June, the Baton will spend four days in London, coinciding with the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Weekend. The Baton will then resume the international journey and return to England on Monday 4 July to commence a 25-day tour of the regions.
On Monday 11 July, Loughborough University will officially welcome the Baton.
A busy schedule of activities and events are planned for the Queen’s Baton Relay, with opportunities to highlight untold stories from Batonbearers who are striving for change in their community.
During its time at the University the Queen’s Baton Relay will visit representatives from Team England, who are holding their immersion camp and official ‘kitting out’ process at the campus.
The Queen’s Baton Relay will then start the next leg of its Loughborough tour from the University’s Hazlerigg Building – where there will be a celebration of the Commonwealth and the vibrant and diverse University community.
From here it will travel across campus through to Shirley Pearce Square, where the University will be hosting a Festival of Sport to mark the occasion, joined by representatives from Loughborough College.
The Baton will then leave campus, arriving at Queen’s Park before continuing to Loughborough town centre, where Charnwood Borough Council will be holding a celebratory event.
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. The Birmingham 2022 website will be updated with information over the coming months, with detail on the events and where to line the route.
Speaking about the Baton visit, Loughborough’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Nick Jennings said: “We are delighted the University has been chosen to host the Queen’s Baton Relay, as it makes it way to Birmingham to mark the start of the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
“Sport is at the heart of Loughborough. Many of our past and present students and staff will be part of the Games, as athletes, coaches and support staff, so to be able to celebrate with the Queen’s Baton Relay on campus is incredibly special.
“We look forward to welcoming people from across the town to celebrate with us, and to working with our partners at Charnwood Borough Council and Loughborough College on making this a day to remember.”
Cllr Jenny Bokor, Charnwood Borough Council’s lead member for Loughborough said: “We are beyond thrilled that Loughborough has been chosen as one of the destinations for the Queen’s Baton Relay - an iconic part of the Commonwealth Games.
“The games are one of the biggest global sporting events and I’m sure residents will get behind this very exciting occasion and show their support as the Baton travels through Loughborough.
“We’re proud to be home to a university and college which offer world class sporting facilities. I would like to thank both the university and college for working in partnership with us to bring the Baton to Loughborough.
“It is definitely going to be an occasion to remember, and I am certainly looking forward to it!”
Jo Maher, Principal and CEO at Loughborough College, added: “It is fantastic that Loughborough will host a leg of the Queen’s Baton Relay. The College is extremely proud to play its part in the celebrations, alongside our partners at Loughborough University and the Council, given our long history of helping to develop some of this country’s most prolific sporting talent. The Commonwealth Games have launched the careers of countless elite athletes and we hope the baton relay can help inspire the next generation of athletes from our 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.
One of the confirmed community Batonbearers for Loughborough is University alum, current member of staff and para-swimmer world record holder James Hollis, who was nominated for his incredible contribution to swimming and the parasport community as a whole. James competed at London 2012 and has recently come out of retirement to pursue his goal of competing at the Commonwealth Games.
He has continued to inspire and develop the para and sports community through his performance lifestyle and anti-doping mentoring role at Loughborough University as well as successfully working to carry out a prep camp for the athletes at Tokyo 2020. He inspires and helps athletes to be the best versions of themselves whilst also training towards his own goals.
Travelling via land, air and sea, more than 180 communities in England will experience the Queen’s Baton on a route spanning 2,500 miles (4,000 kilometres). From energetic cities and historic market towns, to rolling countryside and rugged coastline, the Baton will head as far south as Cornwall and as far north as Northumberland.
Since its inaugural appearance at the Cardiff 1958 Commonwealth Games, the Queen’s Baton Relay has been a tradition for the Commonwealth Games.
The Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay began at Buckingham Palace on 7 October 2021, when The Queen placed Her Message to the Commonwealth into the Baton and passed it to four-time Paralympic gold medallist Kadeena Cox, who had the honour of being the first of thousands of Batonbearers to carry the Baton.
Since then, the Baton has visited Commonwealth nations and territories in Europe, Africa, Oceania. It still has further destinations in the Caribbean, the Americas, and more countries in Europe, including the Home Nations consisting of five days in Scotland, four in Northern Ireland and five in Wales, where it will finish on Sunday 3 July, before returning to England in summer for the final countdown to the Commonwealth Games.
The dates of when the Baton visits each region are:
- 4 July – 5 July: South West
- 6 July – 7 July: South East
- 8 July – 9 July: East of England
- 10 July – 11 July: East Midlands
- 12 July – 13 July: Yorkshire and the Humber
- 14 July – 15 July: North East
- 16 July – 17 July: North West
- 18 July – 28 July: West Midlands
Phil Batty, Director of Ceremonies, Culture & Queen's Baton Relay, 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 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.”
Commonwealth Games Federation 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.”
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.
The Queen’s Baton
The Queen’s Baton for Birmingham 2022 was created in a West Midlands collaboration that fused art, technology and science. Made from copper, aluminium and steel, the Baton also features a platinum strand in homage to The Queen in her Platinum Jubilee year. It is also equipped with cutting-edge technology; 360-degree camera, heart rate monitor, atmospheric sensors and LED lighting.
For more information on the Queen’s Baton Relay, visit www.birmingham2022.com/qbr.
The information provided on the route through England is subject to local authority approval and therefore could be subject to change.