TOM DALEY OBE, KIM DAYBELL, MAX WHITCOCK MBE, GALAL YAFAI AND ALEX DANSON-BENNETT MBE CONFIRMED AS OFFICIAL BATONBEARERS FOR BIRMINGHAM 2022 COMMONWEALTH GAMES OPENING CEREMONY.
- Commonwealth Games medal winners Tom Daley OBE, Kim Daybell, Max Whitlock MBE, Galal Yafai and Alex Danson-Bennett MBE will be official Batonbearers at the event’s Opening Ceremony tonight
- The last of over 700 Batonbearers will be named on the night, during the Ceremony live on BBC One
- All Batonbearers were challenged to ‘take it on’ and run in the name of a chosen cause, with doctor and tennis star Kim Daybell championing all of his NHS colleagues who were on the frontline of the pandemic.
Batonbearers carry the Queen’s Baton for its final steps before it marks the opening of the 2022 event. HRH Prince Charles will deliver a message from The Queen which was placed in the Baton in October 2021 and has since travelled the 72 counties of the Commonwealth in a 294-day-long Baton Relay journey.
Each of the athletes taking part is representing a cause close to their hearts. Daley will be running in support of LGBTQIA rights, Danson will support cures for cancer, and Whitlock is backing mental health.
Other Games winners taking part as Batonbearers include Birmingham-born boxer Galal Yafai and doctor and table tennis star Kim Daybell. Yafai is supporting young people and Dayball will run in the name of the National Health Service, championing his fellow colleagues who were on the frontline of the pandemic.
The final Batonbearer in tonight’s Opening Ceremony will be named on the night, during the show live on BBC One.
Over 700 Batonbearers have taken part over nearly 300 days since the Queen’s Baton Relay began. Batonbearers across the Commonwealth were challenged to ‘take it on’ and run in the name of the chosen cause, as these six stars will do tonight.
The Baton symbolises collaboration and communication through the Commonwealth. Since 1958, Her Majesty The Queen has used the Baton to unite the Commonwealth for moments of celebration through the renowned Baton Relay.
The relay showcases the achievements of Batonbearers, the personal journeys of Commonwealth athletes and stories from a generation of young people making waves of change in their communities.
Travelling via land, air and sea, the Queen’s Baton has been on a journey spanning 2,500 miles.
Chief Creative Officer of Birmingham 2022, Martin Green CBE said:
“The wait is finally over and tonight the eyes of the world turn to Birmingham as we throw open the doors to these incredible Games.
“Since it began its journey last October, the Queen’s Baton Relay has demonstrated the power of sport to unite, inspire and engage our Commonwealth family of nations. We are so proud to unveil our final Batonbearers today - champions of sport, culture and civil society as the Baton takes its place in our spectacular Opening Ceremony.”
President of the Commonwealth Games Federation, Dame Louise Martin said:
“The arrival of the Queen’s Baton in Birmingham is a special moment which signals the start of what promises to be a fantastic 11 days of sport which will showcase the very best of humanity.
“The baton bearers who will take to the stage this evening are not only incredible athletes but also represent brilliant causes which symbolise the values of humanity, equality and destiny, which are at the heart of the Commonwealth movement.”
Commonwealth Games Minister Nigel Huddleston said:
"Tonight we're firing the starting pistol on the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, with a spectacular show to unleash an unforgettable eleven days of world-class sport.
"I'm thrilled the Queen's Baton has arrived in this amazing city after travelling thousands of miles across the globe. These final Batonbearers exemplify the best of the UK and will help bring this epic 72-nation nation tour to an end with one crowing relay."
Chief Executive of Commonwealth Games England Paul Blanchard said
“It’s an honour for Team England to have selected the official Batonbearers for the Opening Ceremony of Birmingham 2022. All the athletes encapsulate our values as a team and have represented England with distinction in previous Games. We’re delighted to see them bringing the Queen’s Baton home to begin the Games.”
‘’The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games is the largest multi-sport event held in the UK since London 2012. It kicks off tonight at the city’s Alexander Stadium with a show-stopping Opening Ceremony, masterminded by renowned Artistic Director Iqbal Khan and executive produced by Steven Knight CBE.
Broadcast live on BBC One and iPlayer, the Opening Ceremony will signal the start of 11 days of spectacular sport, with 4,500 of the Commonwealth’s finest athletes competing across 19 sports and eight para sports, in the largest event ever to be staged in the West Midlands region.