The landmark moment at Birmingham Airport was attended by Birmingham-born, Team England netball player Layla Guscoth. With ambitions to pursue her medical career as a doctor alongside her commitments as a professional athlete, Layla worked on the frontline at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham during the height of the pandemic, and will be competing in next year’s Games.
The Birmingham 2022 Queen's Baton Relay has officially departed from Birmingham Airport today (Friday) where it will fly to Cyprus ahead of the Birmingham Commonwealth Games.
This is the first stop on the 294-day journey to all 72 nations and territories of the Commonwealth, arriving back in England in July 2022.
The relay will cover 140,000-kilometre in total.
It follows the morning after the official launch of the Queen's Baton Relay on 7 October 2021 at Buckingham Palace, where Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II placed her message to the Commonwealth on the Baton.
The Queen’s Baton Relay is a tradition that celebrates, connects and excites communities from across the Commonwealth during the build up to the Games.
The Baton will now visit all 72 nations and territories of the Commonwealth – an incredible journey which will see it reach Africa, the Americas, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia and Oceania, before travelling the length and breadth of England during the final days of the Relay.
Ian Reid, Chief Executive Officer of Birmingham 2022, said: “The official launch of the Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay at Buckingham Palace was a resounding success. Now, it’s time to send the Baton onwards as it embarks on a 294-day journey, connecting communities in every corner of the Commonwealth, embracing unique cultures and sharing stories.
“We hope this collective journey will ignite hope, solidarity and collaboration for the next generation, with these stories leaving us all inspired to take on the challenges that matter most. This is such an important milestone in the lead up to the Games and one that we should all carry with pride.”
Team England netball player Layla Guscoth said: “This is such a surreal and proud moment for me as an athlete with strong Birmingham roots. There’s been so much buzz and excitement here in the West Midlands and the start of the Relay has now brought all of this wonderful energy to life. The countdown has truly begun, and I can’t wait to see the Baton arrive back here in Birmingham in 294 days’ time!”
The Baton will eventually return to its hometown of Birmingham next summer, before completing its journey at the Opening Ceremony of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games on 28 July 2022.