Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay joined by judokas Simone Callender and Ray Stevens!

Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay to visit London for four-day tour to celebrate Platinum Jubilee and London 2012 legacy, including a visit to a London community Judo Club where the relay will be joined by former judokas Simone Callender and Ray Stevens.

Across the four days, inspiring individuals from both the community and sporting space will be entrusted to carry the Baton at the various events, activities and relay stretches. Five former and current Team England athletes will be taking part, including British judoka Simone Callenderwho became Commonwealth champion in 2002 in Manchester and is now an active volunteer for British Judo.

Simone will be carrying the Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton on Saturday 4th June from 12:20pm at 76 Street, Paul’s Churchyard, London EC4V 5ER.

The Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay will arrive in England on Thursday 2 June for an incredible four-day visit in London, coinciding with the Platinum Jubilee weekend. It marks the triumphant return of the Queen’s Baton to England since it departed from Buckingham Palace on 7 October last year and embarked on a global tour of the nations and territories of the Commonwealth.

Once the Baton has arrived in London, the Relay will visit famous landmarks, engage with communities at celebrations and local events and visit grassroots sport clubs. Members of the public can join the celebrations and witness the excitement of the Queen’s Baton Relay at the following free-to-attend public events:

Thursday 2 June – Battersea Power Station – 7pm – 8pm

The Baton begins its central London journey at the iconic Battersea Power Station, joining a Britannia-inspired party which is being held to celebrate The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee from 2-3 June. The family-friendly event will feature live music, dance performances and food and drink pop-ups. Visitors between 7-8pm on 2 June will be encouraged to cheer on the Batonbearers, who are all inspiring members of the local community, from the new Battersea Power Station Underground Station to the front of the Grade II* listed Power Station where they will be greeted with a special performance from the Battersea Power Station Community Choir.

Saturday 4 June – Paternoster Square, City of London – 12.15pm – 3pm

After the Baton has been exchanged between Batonbearers on the River Thames, stopping at key landmarks including Big Ben, Tower Bridge, Greenwich Royal Naval College, Shakespeare’s Globe and the London Eye, the Relay will continue from Blackfriars Pier, with the Baton passing St Paul’s Cathedral and arriving at Paternoster Square, next to St Paul’s Cathedral.

Joining a free, family-friendly community event at Paternoster Square hosted by the City of London Corporation, visitors can expect to have a photo with the Baton and try their hand at Commonwealth Games sports, including shooting hoops with the London Lions, the capital’s only pro basketball team, and table tennis with charity Greenhouse Sports. Visitors can also enjoy street theater, live music, and street food.

Sunday 5 June – Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park – 9am – 12pm

The Baton, which will be delivered by sponsors Royal Mail, will be relayed across Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, in celebration of the 10-year anniversary since the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympic Games. Taking in each iconic venue, the Baton will be taken to the London Aquatics Centre, the Olympic Bell, Copper Box Arena, Lee Valley Hockey & Tennis Center and the Lee Valley VeloPark. The Relay will be peppered with performances and activity including the Pandemonium Drummers, who took part in the Olympic opening ceremony; Zoo Riot Cheerleaders; Skate Gals n Pals; London Parkour Academy; London Youth Rowing; Bowjangles, a classical string quartet; the Brass Volcanoes brass band, stilt-walkers; street theater act Wheezy Rides; local cycling groups Bike Works and British Cycling Academy; and special performances by The Games Maker Choir, formed of volunteers from London 2012 and subsequent global sporting events.

Sunday 5 June – The Royal Docks – 2.30pm – 5pm

The Queen’s Baton Relay will visit the Royal Victoria Square and will travel along the Royal Docks. The public will be treated to a unique performance from the English National Ballet in the square before the Baton is taken along the waterside and later boards a dragon boat as part of a 25-boat flotilla through the Royal Docks. Highlights along the route include a stop at Pumping Station Square where artists will set up puppeteering and sculpting activities. The activity will culminate with a community celebration event at the Royal Victoria Gardens, where the public can enjoy a street party filled with music and dance, which will go on until 8pm.

Over the weekend, the iconic Tower of London will play an important role as the Baton will spend the night in the fortress’s Jewel House, home to the world-famous Crown Jewels, where it will remain safely guarded overnight. The following morning, and before the venue opens to the public, Batonbearers will carry the Baton through the new ‘Superbloom’ installation at the Tower of London which has been transformed in celebration of the Platinum Jubilee year. The historic moat has been owned with 20 million seeds and will feature 29 species of flowers throughout the summer.

Ian Reid, Chief Executive of Birmingham 2022, said: “It doesn’t seem long ago when we gathered at Buckingham Palace to witness the Queen placing her Message inside the Baton, signifying the launch of this special journey. Since October, the Baton has visited 62 out of the 72 nations and territories of the Commonwealth, engaging with communities at every step. The return of the Baton to England is a huge milestone and its long-weekend in London is expected to be full of excitement and celebration, coinciding with Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee as well as the 10 year anniversary of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. It all comes together as we countdown to the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, now less than 70 days away.”

Commonwealth Games Federation President, Dame Louise Martin, said: “It will be a special celebration to have the Queen’s Baton return to London to celebrate Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee. This four-day tour of the capital will create further excitement and anticipation for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, which gets underway in just two months’ time.”

Following the visit to London, the Queen’s Baton Relay will resume the international journey, heading to the Falkland Islands, Jersey, Guernsey, the Isle of Man, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

The Baton will return to England on 4 July for a 25-day tour of the country, 11 of which will be based in the West Midlands where the epic journey concludes at the Opening Ceremony of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games at the Alexander Stadium on 28 July 2022.

For more information on the Queen’s Baton Relay, visit www.birmingham2022.com/qbr

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