Commonwealth Games officials looking for 2,022 inspirational people to take part in the Queen’s Baton Relay

Do YOU know an inspirational unsung hero who could help carry the Commonwealth Games baton around England this summer?

Tuesday, 11th January 2022, 12:02 pm
A commemorative mural has been unveiled today in Birmingham to launch the search to find 2,022 Batonbearers for the Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay in England. From left - Haseebah Abdullah (coach at Windmill Boxing Gym), Kadeena Cox (our-time Paralympic champion and first Batonbearer), and Salma Bi BEM (cricket coach, umpire and fundraiser). Kadeena Cox, four-time Paralympic champion and first Batonbearer, Haseebah Abdullah, coach at Windmill Boxing Gym and Salma Bi BEM, cricket coach, umpire and fundraiser encourage the nation to ‘Take it On’ and share inspiring stories to nominate people for the opportunity to carry the Queen’s Baton in their region during the final build up to the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. The unique artwork has been designed and created by one of the UK’s most prolific street artists: Gent 48, aka Josh Billingham.

The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games has today launched a search to find 2,022 Batonbearers for the Queen’s Baton Relay.

The Queen’s Baton Relay is a Games tradition that builds anticipation for the Games by celebrating, connecting, and exciting communities across the Commonwealth.

It shines a proverbial light on untold stories and unsung local heroes from the places it visits.

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Flashback - The Queen starts the countdown to the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia, launching the baton relay at Buckingham Palace in March 2017. She handed the baton to two-time Olympic champion cyclist Anna Meares ahead of a relay spanning 388 days, 71 countries and more than 200,000 miles before reaching the Gold Coast.

Batonbearers will play a major role in the Queen’s Baton Relay, taking on the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to carry the baton in their region during the final build up to the 2022 Games.

Members of the public are encouraged to nominate those who are always willing to take on a challenge, have a unique and inspiring story, are a figure of inspiration who positively challenges others to achieve their best, or is passionate about making a positive impact within their community.

Nominations can be made by visiting the Birmingham 2022 website and submitting 100 words or less on how the nominee is making a difference in their community and why they deserve to take on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Nominations are open for all nine regions of England, which is where the Baton will visit in summer. Batonbearers must be aged 12 or over on June 2, 2022.

To mark the launch of the Batonbearer nominations, a commemorative mural has been officially unveiled by Kadeena Cox.

The four-time Paralympic champion had the honour of being the first Batonbearer to receive the Baton from The Queen at the launch of the Queen’s Baton Relay at Buckingham Palace in October last year.

Located in the heart of Birmingham, near the New Street train station, the vibrant mural celebrates the journey of the Queen’s Baton Relay and features illustrations and symbols of inspiring community figures, which represent the 2,022 Batonbearers being sought.

Birmingham 2022’s very own ‘Hometown Heroes’ Haseebah Abdullah and Salma Bi BEM are showcased in the mural in recognition of their inspiring achievements.

Flashback to the Olympic Torch Relay ahead of London 2012 - a 70-day relay involving 8,000 torchbearers covering 8,000 miles. Photo by LOCOG via Getty Images.

Haseebah is the first hijab-wearing boxing coach in England and an incredible ambassador for women’s sport.

Salma, meanwhile, founded the first all Asian women’s cricket team and has encouraged over 1,000 local girls to get involved in grassroots sports.

QR codes added to the mural invite passers-by to engage with the artwork in a meaningful way. When photographed, the QR codes direct the public to the Queen’s Baton Relay website, where they can nominate their hero to be a Batonbearer.

After the Baton has taken on its epic journey across the Commonwealth, where it will have visited Europe, Africa, Oceania, the Caribbean, and the Americas, it will return to England for the final countdown to the Commonwealth Games.

The Queen’s Baton will travel the length and breadth of the country for 25 days, before the Relay officially ends at the Opening Ceremony of the Commonwealth Games on July 28.

This year’s Games will be the 24th in history and only twice have they ever been held in England - in 1934 (London) and 2002 (Manchester). Cardiff (twice), Edinburgh and Glasgow are the only other UK cities to have hosted the Games.

The Baton Relay will bring back memories of the Olympic Torch relay ahead of the London 2012 Olympics. Back then, around 8,000 people carried the torch along part of an 8,000 mile route.

To nominate someone to be a Batonbearer, visit http://www.birmingham2022.com/queens-baton-relay/