Queen’s Baton for Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games arrives at Downing Street in time for tea

Digital Culture Media and Sports Minister Nadine Dorries and West Midlands Mayor Andy Street welcome the baton to No 10. Picture by Tim Hammond / No 10 Downing Street

After visiting 72 Commonwealth nations and territories across the globe the Queen’s Baton for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games has arrived in Downing Street in time for a Big Afternoon Tea party.

Schoolchildren, Commonwealth athletes and senior citizens attended a Big Afternoon Tea in honour of Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee and to welcome the Queen’s Baton to No 10.

Commonwealth Games Baton arrives at Downing Street. 10 Downing Street. Picture by Simon Dawson / No 10 Downing Street

It marked the end of the Relay in London following an epic four-day tour around major landmarks in the capital, including iconic venues across Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Hosted by Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries and Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston, attendees included young people from cadets, scouts, beavers, cubs, girl guides and brownie groups, as well as recipients of the Points of Light Award, Commonwealth athletes and representatives of Age UK.

Digital Culture Media and Sports Minister Nadine Dorries speaks with guests at a Jubilee Lunch to celebrate the Queens Jubilee and up and coming Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. 10 Downing Street. Picture by Tim Hammond / No 10 Downing Street

Schoolchildren from St Mary Cray Primary Academy in Orpington were also in attendance, with some of the children having recently arrived in the UK after fleeing the war in Ukraine.

Athletes in attendance included current and former Commonwealth Games England sporting stars – Paralympic athlete and medalist Thomas Young, squash players Alison Waters, Gina Kennedy and Sara-Jane Perry and beach volleyball players Javier Bello and Joaquin Bello.

The Batonbearers bringing the Baton to Downing Street this week were Kash Gill – a world champion kick boxer and Courtney Hughes, who received a Point of Light award for her services to the elderly and vulnerable, through a charity she founded at age 13 to support lonely and isolated people in crisis at Christmas.

As part of the event, the Culture Secretary awarded Kash Gill a Point of Light award to acknowledge his community spirit. Since lockdown, Kash has been running free martial arts, fitness classes and community running groups in Handsworth Park Birmingham for people of all ages.

Alongside this, he also runs anti-gang and anti-knife campaigns and works with the West Midlands Police to promote unity in the community through sports.

Now the Baton will continue its relay around the Commonwealth, passing through the Falkland Islands, Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man before touring through Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and England ahead of its return to the Midlands for the Commonwealth Games’ Opening Ceremony in Birmingham on July 28.

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said:

We are delighted to round off the incredible Platinum Jubilee celebrations with the arrival of the Queen’s Baton Relay to Downing Street. It’s been fantastic to see Britain come out in force this weekend to mark 70 years of Her Majesty The Queen’s reign.

There is still so much more to look forward to in 2022. Next month, Birmingham and the West Midlands will host a fantastic Commonwealth Games and UNBOXED continues to bring world-class art and culture to communities nationwide.

The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games will take place from 28 July to 8 August 2022 and will be the biggest sporting and cultural event ever held in the city featuring thousands of world-class athletes and over a million spectators.

Home to more than 187 nationalities, Birmingham 2022 will be a home Games for every nation.

Commonwealth Games Baton Relay in Downing Street. 10 Downing Street. Picture by Simon Dawson / No 10 Downing Street

Backed by £778 million of public funding, Birmingham 2022 will deliver 11 days of amazing sport. Alongside the sport programme, the Games will be accompanied by a six-month cultural festival and the Queen’s Baton Relay will travel around the Commonwealth and the UK before arriving in Birmingham for the Opening Ceremony.

A £24 million business and tourism programme will convert the excitement and interest generated by the Games into increased trade, tourism and investment opportunities for the West Midlands, promoting the region and the UK to the world.

Find out more at www.birmingham2022.com

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