The Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay will be coming to Wolverhampton this summer during its final journey through England before the Commonwealth Games.
The Queen’s Baton will be dramatically parachuted in by helicopter on Sunday, July 24, before inspirational Batonbearers take it on a tour of the city – giving them the chance to highlight stories of how they are striving for change in their community.
The Queen’s Baton Relay will begin at 8am in East Park with a parachute drop by The Wings Parachute Team. It will then be taken on a road relay tour of the city stopping off at a number of key locations including WV Active Aldersley before finishing with celebrations in Queen Square. Members of the public are encouraged to get involved with the arrival of the Baton, with further details of events and where to line the route to be announced over coming months on the Birmingham 2022 website.
Councillor Steve Evans, City of Wolverhampton Council’s cabinet member for city environment and climate change, said:
“What a thrill to be one of the places across the country to be hosting the Queen’s Baton Relay. “Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games is a major event for our region and the news that the relay will be coming through our city is absolutely fantastic. What a way to show off Wolverhampton and what we have to offer.
“I’d like to encourage as many residents as possible to get involved and line the route, cheering on our inspirational Batonbearers. This will be an amazing lead up to the Games and an exciting event for the city, ready for us hosting the cycling Time Trial in West Park on August 4.”
Community Batonbearers from Wolverhampton include Parmi Dheensa, her son Callum, and Melvin Riley who were nominated for their activist work. Parmi is an award-winning social innovator and humanitarian, disability and Human Rights Activist, who advocates with and empowers underrepresented communities and unheard voices. She shares lived experiences with her youngest son Callum, a disabled and adventurous changemaker, whose journey keeps her driven and focused in working towards achieving disability rights and inclusion.
Parmi is the founder of the national ‘Include Me TOO’ charity, which works with disabled children, young people and their families from a diverse range of backgrounds. The charity develops a range of services, resources and training at local, national and international levels. Parmi has been recognised with a Queen’s Commonwealth Points of Light award for her work.
Melvin is a 20-year-old economics student, aspiring politician, public speaker and social/tech entrepreneur and has been a political activist and advocate for race equality, youth representation, mental health and empowerment for the past eight years. He is a voice for young people across the West Midlands and the UK tackling some of the biggest socio-economic problems facing us by implementing policy and campaigning. Melvin has campaigned on mental health, knife crime, BLM, CSE, antibullying, race education in further education settings and reforming teacher qualifications to include microaggression training through an ongoing campaign called NOT so MICRO.
He has worked with many youth groups locally and internationally including Wolverhampton Youth Council, West Midlands police as a youth police commissioner, the Model United Nations and The Diana Award as a young change maker. He is a member of the West Midlands race equality task force and is a Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games advocate for youth engagement.
The July 24 event forms part of 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 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 Baton 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.
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. 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 and 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.