The Commonwealth Games is set to begin in a couple of weeks time with the opening ceremony taking place at Birmingham’s Aston Hall.
However, the preceding 29 days has, and will continue to be, taken up with the Queen’s Baton Relay making its way around England.
The baton’s route has been taking in sights from all across the world and is currently making its way around England
Thousands of people have been chosen to carry the baton as it makes its way around British soil with between 40 and 130 people taking part each day.
The director of ceremonies, culture and Queen’s Baton relay has said that a lot of work went into the planning of the route.
He has said: “it symbolises connecting people from every corner of the Commonwealth, celebrates baton-bearers who take on challenges and marks the countdown to the biggest sporting event in the West Midlands’ history.”
So where will the Queen’s Baton Relay go?
The relay started with a five-day tour of the England capital during the Platinum Jubilee celebrations and will then go on to visit 180 places.
After the Jubilee, the baton went on to the Falkland Islands, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.
It returned to England on 4 July and will cover around 2,500 miles of the UK as it tours Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.
As part of its tour of England, the baton will visit Cornwall’s Eden Project; the Lake District; Blackpool Tower and venues from the 2012 London Olympics as well as Manchester’s Commonwealth Games locations from 2002.
On its final 11 days, the baton will travel through the West Midlands. It will visit the Black Country Living Museum in Dudley; Chasewater in Staffordshire and a stretch of the River Severn where it is set to be transported by coracle (a lightweight boat traditionally used in Wales).
When did the Relay begin?
The baton’s first journey started during the celebration of the Platinum Jubilee which took place 2 June to 5 June 2022.
It will then conclude by arriving in Birmingham on 28 July, having completed its 29-day stint in England, for the Opening Ceremony of the Games.
Here is the baton’s schedule around England:
- London: 2-6 June
- South West: 4 - 5 July
- South East: 6 - 7 July
- East of England: 8-9 July
- East Midlands: 10-11 July
- Yorkshire and The Humber: 12-13 July
- North East: 14-15 July
- North West: 16-17 July
- West Midlands: 18-28 July
Who will carry the baton?
There were around 8,000 nominations to be baton-bearers and the organisers of the event said they were seeking inspirational candidates.
Around 2,000 people are set to carry the baton and those picked range from local heroes, to inspirational schoolchildren and will hopefully reflect the country’s diversity, organisers have said.
Amdani Juma, who will represnt the baton through Nottingham, arrived in the UK after escaping the Rwanda genocide in 1994 and has started a group in a bid to make sport more accessible and as a self-help group for LGBT+ refugees.
Speaking to the BBC, he said: “It is not sinking in yet. To be nominated as a baton-bearer is a once in a lifetime experience.”