The Queen’s Baton today visited Birmingham as its tour of England ahead of the 2018 Commonwealth Games came to an end.
The Baton was given a grand tour of the city, visiting a number of key landmarks throughout Sunday 20 August, with the highlight being a lap of honour at the Alexander Stadium.
The trip to the city commenced with a trip to the New Testament Church of God Gospel Choir, where it was welcomed by the colourful, vibrant and fun members of the church, with the choir treating the team to uplifting music.
The Baton then headed to the Alexander Stadium for the Müller Grand Prix Birmingham. The event, which saw Mo Farah’s final ever track race in the UK, welcomed the Baton, where it was on display in the fanzone and completed a lap around the historic athletics track by the men’s 4×100m relay team that won gold at the recent IAAF World Athletics Championships.
The visit moved on to visit some of Birmingham’s key landmarks in the city centre, including the Bullring, where Team England gymnasts Kristian Thomas and Mimi Cesar joined the baton.
Edgbaston, which recently hosted the England vs West Indies test match, then welcomed the Queen’s Baton, as it was greeted by 16 young players from Handsworth CC, before heading to the infamous Brindley Place where Team England cyclist Helen Scott joined in with a pop-up badminton activity, and welcomes Commonwealth Games England partner National Express, who brought a coach to the area.
Birmingham recently submitted a bid to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
The Baton was parachuted into England on Wednesday morning in Oxford, and has visited London and Buckinghamshire before heading to Leamington Spa, Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham.
Team England cycling star Helen Scott said:
“It’s amazing to have the Baton in the country. I have been following its progress around England and I am really proud that it is in Birmingham, my home town, where we have put on a great display today.
“The Baton has been helping to bring people together, and today as visited so many different events, so it’s a great opportunity for people to see it and get excited for the Commonwealth Games next year. Hopefully this tour will help to get the nation excited, especially following such great events England has hosted this year and it’s time to get excited for what England might produce.”
Former Team England gymnast Kristian Thomas said:
“It’s great to see so many people engaging with the Queen’s Baton today, and wanting to learn more about it. The Queen’s Baton Relay is a great way to get the country involved and excited for the 2018 Commonwealth Games, and get to know more about the Baton itself.”
The Queen’s Baton Relay is a Commonwealth Games tradition that celebrates the Commonwealth’s diversity, inspires community pride and excites people about the world-class festival of sports and culture to come.
The Queen’s Baton carries a message from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II that calls for athletes to come together in peaceful and friendly competition.
The Queen’s Baton will now continue its tour, moving on to Scotland on Tuesday 22nd August.