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Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Queen’s Baton Relay: Baton design revealed
29th September 2021: The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games has unveiled the design of The Queen’s Baton and details of the international route for the 16th official Queen’s Baton Relay.
A Games tradition, The Queen’s Baton Relay celebrates, connects and excites communities from across the Commonwealth during the build up to the Games.
The relay begins on 7th October 2021 at Buckingham Palace, where Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will place Her message to the Commonwealth into the baton. The baton itself will then take an incredible 294-day journey through all nations and territories of the Commonwealth, arriving back in England in July 2022. For the full route details visit the Birmingham 2022 website here: birmingham2022.com/queens-baton-relay/route/.
Martin Green, Chief Creative Officer at Birmingham 2022, said:
The Queen’s Baton Relay is a special tradition for the Games and a fantastic opportunity to connect the Commonwealth as we countdown to Birmingham 2022. Unveiling the Baton and its international journey is an exciting milestone for us, as we’re just days away from the official launch of the Relay.
The Baton is the stunning result of art, traditional craftmanship and innovative technology, all designed and made right here in the West Midlands, and I can’t wait to see it embark on its epic journey where thousands of Batonbearers will interact with it. It will be visiting some wonderful places before arriving back here in Birmingham for the Opening Ceremony on 28 July 2022.”
Cllr Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said:
The unveiling of the Baton design and the international route it will take really does bring into focus the fact the Games are almost upon us. I am delighted that innovation and technology from the Proud Host City of Birmingham features in the Baton, which will showcase our city’s skills and creativity to people in all 72 nations and territories that are a part of the Commonwealth Games. It is another example of how the event is much more than just 11 days of top international sport in our city.”
The baton was conceived in an innovative West Midlands collaboration that fuses art, technology, and science. Product designers and engineers Raymont-Osman Product Design, design and development specialists Kajul, both based in Warwickshire, along with Coventry-based MAOKWO, headed up by artist Laura Nyahuye, each injected their creativity and expertise into the baton. The technology within the baton is the work of BOM (Birmingham Open Media), a leading centre for art, technology and science in central Birmingham, dedicated to ‘creative innovation with purpose’.
Influenced by her Zimbabwean heritage, artistic skills, activism and community engagement work, Laura brings her passion for tactile and non-precious materials, coupled with the influence of young voices, and lived experiences to the design of the baton. Using a multi-medium approach, Laura and a team of young creatives at MAOKWO explored themes of the meaning of the Commonwealth, sustainability, the strength and fortitude of women within Commonwealth communities, which has directly influenced the baton’s design and concept.
Laura Nyahuye; Artist and CEO at Maokwo, said:
Coming into this project as an artist, mother, and advocate who is passionate about social justice for women, migrants, and young people, was an intense yet enlightening experience. Bringing in Maokwo’s young people with links from the Commonwealth countries, my heritage, design and concept, weaving in textures and storytelling, into the Baton design was crucial, as well as instigating honest conversations around the Commonwealth countries. My prayer is the Baton creates a rhythmic heartbeat of peace, love, and a hunger to connect beyond our skin tones and ethnicities.”
The baton champions the individuality in humanity and celebrates bringing people together. It embodies the idea that every individual has distinctive lived experiences that are threaded together and woven into a collective tapestry of cultures. The baton form is entwined with unique components and displays connectivity to represent the power of collaboration.
Tom Osman, Director of Raymont-Osman Product Design, said:
Raymont-Osman Product Design is thrilled to have designed and manufactured The Queen’s Baton. We are incredibly proud of our Midlands’ heritage and this process has enabled us engage with many talented members of our wider community, whilst experimenting with new techniques and methods to create a baton that truly reflects the character and heritage of the region.”
Karen Newman, Founder/Director of BOM, said:
BOM is proud to have developed the technology for the Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton, the first true ‘smart Baton’. By incorporating meaningful technologies into the design, we can celebrate grassroots innovation happening right across the Commonwealth, and give a platform to those driving change within their communities. Working with our partners at the University of Birmingham, the Baton will also spark important discussions around pressing environmental issues which call for global action.”
Karl Hamlin, Managing Director of Kajul, said:
It’s been a pleasure for all at Kajul to work on manufacturing the Baton, we have all enjoyed working with a creative team from all around the West Midlands. I hope all of our work touches on the countries of the Commonwealth, inspiring many. It’s been a highlight in my career that I will treasure.”
Nigel Huddleston, Minister for Sport and Tourism:
The Queen’s Baton will be a fantastic symbol of the West Midlands as it travels across the Commonwealth. The design represents the best of the region’s creativity, innovation and diversity and I look forward to following its journey across the globe.”
The baton will travel an epic international route, spanning an impressive 269 days, spending between two and four days in each nation or territory, covering approximately 90,000 miles (140,000 kilometres), having over 7,500 Batonbearers trusted with the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to carry the baton.
The Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay will visit all 72 nations and territories of the Commonwealth yet will travel almost half the distance than the previous Gold Coast Queen’s Baton Relay in a bid to reduce the carbon footprint.
Over the course of the relay, the baton is set to spend Christmas Eve in the Seychelles, will bring in the New Year in the Maldives with plans to be in Jamaica over the Easter weekend.
During each visit, nations and territories will host events and activities that showcase untold stories from Batonbearers, athletes, and young people who are striving for change in their community, as well as showcasing a project that addresses at least one of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
The global journey will conclude at the Birmingham 2022 Opening Ceremony where the final Batonbearer will return the Baton to Her Majesty The Queen.
Team England rhythmic gymnast Mimi Cesar, who carried the Queen’s Baton for the Glasgow 2014 and Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, said:
I had the honour of being a Batonbearer for The Queen’s Baton in 2014 and was part of the unveiling event as an athlete ambassador for Team England in 2018, so I know just how much excitement the Queen’s Baton Relay brings to a community. I absolutely love the design of the Baton and I’m so proud that it’s reflective of the West Midlands.”
Paul Blanchard, CEO of Team England said:
The Queen’s Baton Relay is such a good opportunity to really engage and excite all parts of the country that Team England represents so effectively just prior to the Games. We’re looking forward to seeing former and current Team England athletes interact with their local communities along the route.
The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games will see 4,500 athletes from 72 nations and territories taking part in 11 days of spectacular sport, from 28 July – 8 August 2022. The ticket ballot, with prices starting at just £8 for under 16s and £15 for adults, is open right now, but closes tomorrow (30 September), with applicants needing to submit their requests by the 8pm deadline. To apply for tickets now go to birmingham2022.com.
For more information on The Queen’s Baton Relay, visit birmingham2022.com/queens-baton-relay.