The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games has today confirmed that the Queen’s Baton Relay will visit the North East this summer.
During its tour of Commonwealth nations and territories, the Queen’s Baton will arrive back in England on 2 June 2022 for a four-day visit to London, coinciding with The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Central Weekend, before resuming the international journey.
It later returns to England on 4 July to commence a 25-day tour across all remaining regions. The Relay will culminate at the Alexander Stadium on 28 July for the opening ceremony, where the Queen’s Message will be read aloud, signifying the official start of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
The Relay will tour the North East on Thursday 14 and Friday 15 July.
The confirmation of Batonbearers comes following the public nomination campaign in January 2022, from which approximately 8,000 nominations for were submitted.
The callout was for inspirational people in England who met the selection criteria:
- Always willing to take on a challenge and has a unique and inspiring story;
- Has made a meaningful contribution to sport, education, the arts, culture, or charity;
- Is a figure of inspiration that positively challenges others to achieve their best;
- Has taken on a challenge or cause and made a positive impact within their community.
Nominations were reviewed by regional selection panels made up of representatives from youth organisations, charities, universities, community leaders, and representatives from Local Authorities.
Batonbearers have been selected in all nine regions of England and embody the diversity in communities across the country.
From local heroes to inspirational school children, the Batonbearers come from all walks of life, backgrounds and vary in age – with children as young as 12 taking part – and each take on issues that matter most to them.
Today, nine of the confirmed community Batonbearers came together at the Alexander Stadium, where the Relay which reach its finale following a month of celebrations across the country.
They include Sunderland woman Nicola Wood, a hairdresser and the owner of successful salon business Kitui, specialising in hair, and wigs.
As a woman living with rheumatoid arthritis, her medication has caused her various struggles and side effects including hair loss for many years. Following a diagnosis of breast cancer at just age 36 and the discovery of poor services for those with hair loss, she expanded her business to support those needing wigs and created a safe space and support network for those facing cancer and hair loss.
Throughout her cancer treatment, she researched the whole wig industry and started a second business, The Wonderful Wig Company. Nicola expanded the floor space of her salon to create a purpose-built support studio for clients in the area with hair loss and has since supported over 10,000 people.
The Wonderful Wig Company now employs 11 people and has secured national contracts with the NHS to support people with hair loss all over the country. The small team now have their own range of wigs specific to the needs of their clients, designed and unique to them.
Bringing the Relay to life
Lisa Hampton, head of the Queen’s Baton Relay, said: “The Queen’s Baton Relay aims to excite and celebrate communities not only around the Commonwealth, but here in the host country of England. This journey would be nothing without the community of Batonbearers that bring the Relay to life. We’ve seen it internationally, and we can’t wait to see it in England.
“Our journey through England is an important one. Not only is it the finale to an epic international journey spanning eight months, but it’s an opportunity to engage with and celebrate individuals who work hard to ensure their community is a special place.
“We want to showcase these awe-inspiring stories; celebrating the diversity of England’s communities and the people working hard to make a difference.”
Find out more information on the Queen’s Baton Relay.