The Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay is confirmed to visit Sandwell on Monday 25 July during its final journey through England this summer, as the full route is revealed.
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.
On Monday 25 July, Sandwell 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.
Sandwell is one of only two authorities in the area to have the baton for a full day and this means there will be 100 Batonbearers running through the streets and parks of Sandwell, including some who will take on the mammoth uphill leg up Waterfall Lane. A range of activities will be held around each part of the Relay in Sandwell.
The Queen’s Baton Relay starts from Sandwell Council House, Oldbury, just after 8am, then visits:
- Brunswick Park, Wednesbury
- Victoria Park, Tipton
- Haden Hill House and Park, Rowley Regis
- Sandwell Aquatics Centre, Smethwick
- Lightwoods Park, Smethwick
- Sandwell Valley Country Park, West Bromwich at approximately 6:30pm.
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. Further details about these activities and timings where you can see the Baton, as well as the council’s engagement with residents and businesses along the route, will be made available soon.
Councillor Kerrie Carmichael, Leader of Sandwell Council, said:
“The people of Sandwell are excited and honoured that our borough is hosting the swimming and diving events at the new Sandwell Aquatics Centre as part of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, and we look forward to the Queen’s Baton Relay taking place in the six towns. It will bring the buzz of the Games to Sandwell and link us to communities across the Commonwealth.
“The Relay is a Games’ tradition that recognises, connects and celebrates communities across the Commonwealth and it is appropriate that one of the venues the Baton will visit is Brunswick Park, which opened in 1887 to celebrate Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee.
“I would encourage the people of Sandwell to welcome and support the arrival of the Baton, and to be inspired by the backgrounds and stories of the Batonbearers from across the Commonwealth and here in Sandwell.”
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. Two of the confirmed Community Batonbearers in Sandwell are Suzy Richards and her son Owen.
Suzy's sons, Owen and Joel, brother Adrian and father Pat, were on holiday in Tunisia in 2015 when a gunman attacked the resort. Suzy lost three of her family members. With Owen, who survived, she has set up Smile For Joel, a charity aimed at fundraising for Victim Support to help families suffering after losing a loved one to homicide. She has raised £100,000s by organising numerous events such as their flagship annual Runforjoel at Sandwell Valley Park, skydives, zipwires, dinners and more, while also championing sport, education and safety in travel as a means for social change in community settings. She has remained admirably strong during a terrible time.
“My son Owen has overcome adversity and has shown great courage after being a victim in the 2015 Tunisia atrocity, at just 16.
“Owen was injured and witnessed the death of his brother Joel, grandad Pat and uncle Adrian. Despite such a horrific loss and life-changing experience, he continued his sports studies at university. He then decided he wanted to make a difference to other families affected by homicide.
“Owen is the co-founder of the charity Smileforjoel.com which supports victims of homicide. Owen is an inspiration to his local community and other young people of his age.”
The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games will be held from 28 July until the 8 August 2022 and will be part of an incredible summer of sport. Birmingham 2022 is the biggest event that the West Midlands has ever staged and the biggest sporting event to be held in the UK since London 2012.
The Games will have 19 sports with 8 para sports integrated into the programme – the biggest Commonwealth para sports programme ever.
The new Sandwell Aquatics Centre in Smethwick will host the diving and swimming events for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games from 28 July to 8 August 2022. The centre is bringing a host of great benefits to Sandwell, having created local jobs and investment in the community through the businesses supplying goods and services for the build, as well as taking on apprentices.
The Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay is currently travelling for a total of 294 days across the Commonwealth, in an epic journey that sees the Queen’s Baton visit all 72 nations and territories. The journey aims to embrace culture; ignite hope, solidarity and collaboration; and share stories that inspire others to take on challenges.
This summer, the Queen’s Baton Relay will return to the host nation for a tour of each region of England, travelling the length and breadth of the country for a total of 29 days. It will culminate in the host city of Birmingham, where it will take a central role in the Opening Ceremony 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.
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 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.