Birmingham 2022 Queen's Baton Relay Coming to South Tyneside
South Tyneside communities will be celebrating this summer as the Birmingham 2022 Queen's Baton Relay visits the Borough during its final journey through England.
Birmingham 2022 is hosting the 16th official Queen's Baton Relay - an epic journey which brings together and celebrates communities across the Commonwealth, during the build up to the Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony on 28 July.
The Queen's Baton Relay is set to travel the length and breadth of England, spending four days in London over the Queen's Platinum Jubilee Weekend, before returning to England to begin a 25-day tour of the regions from 4 July.
Following today's announcement of the route, South Tyneside will officially welcome the Baton on Friday 15 July, as part of the Baton's two-day visit to the North East on 14-15 July.
The Baton will enter the Borough via Whitburn, heading north along The Leas to the New Crown Roundabout, where communities will be encouraged to line the route along Sea Road to Harbour Drive North at Littlehaven, South Shields. The baton is expected to arrive early morning.
Further details of the event will be announced over the coming months.
Councillor Joan Atkinson, Deputy Leader of South Tyneside Council with responsibility for Culture and Leisure, said: "We are incredibly honoured and excited that South Tyneside has been selected to play a key part in the Queen's Baton Relay through the region this summer.
"The Queen's Baton Relay is a tradition that celebrates, connects and excites communities across the Commonwealth during the build up to the Games, which is such an amazing event itself.
"We look forward to embracing the arrival of the Baton as it makes its way along our stunning coastline.It's an ideal setting for such a momentous journey, with plenty of vantage points along Sea Road for spectators to experience seeing the Baton in the Borough.
"It will not only be an historic and proud moment for our Borough, but a wonderful opportunity to showcase and celebrate all the amazing people that help to make this area such a special place."
The Baton will be carried through England by thousands of Batonbearers, each with inspiring backgrounds and stories, including those who have been nominated in recognition of their contribution to their local community, whether that be in sport, education, the arts, culture or charity. The South Tyneside leg of the journey will involve nine Batonbearers.
One of the confirmed community Batonbearers for the North East is Ann Walsh, from East Boldon. She was nominated by the Council in recognition of her tireless work raising hundreds of thousands of pounds for Cancer Research UK and organising the annual Relay for Life at Jarrow's Monkton Stadium.
Ann said: "I was delighted to find out that I had been nominated to be a Batonbearer but had no idea who had actually nominated me. I recently found out that the nomination had been made by the Council which made it even more special. The Council has always been supportive of my charity work and to have its support for this means a great deal.
"When I found out I had actually been selected I couldn't believe it. It's a huge honour and privilege to have been chosen to represent the area on such an important occasion."
Councillor Atkinson added: "Many congratulations to Ann and all those other inspirational people who have been selected to be Batonbearers. We are delighted that their amazing achievements are being recognised in this way. To be given such an important role in this international event is an incredible honour and a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I'm sure they will treasure forever."
The Queen's Baton Relay has been a tradition of the Commonwealth Games since its inaugural appearance at the Cardiff 1958 Commonwealth Games.
The Birmingham 2022 Queen's Baton Relay began at Buckingham Palace on 7 October 2021, when The Queen placed Her Message to the Commonwealth into the Baton and passed it to four-time Paralympic gold medallist Kadeena Cox - the first of thousands of Batonbearers to carry the Baton.
Since then, the Baton has visited Commonwealth nations and territories in Europe, Africa, Oceania. It still has further destinations in the Caribbean, the Americas and more countries in Europe, including the Home Nations in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, where it will finish on Sunday 3 July before returning to England for the final countdown to the Commonwealth Games.
South Tyneside is one of more than 180 communities in England that will experience the Queen's Baton on a route spanning 2,500 miles and travelling via land, air and sea.
Phil Batty, Director of Ceremonies, Culture & Queen's Baton Relay, said: "While the Baton has been travelling across the Commonwealth, we have worked closely with Local Authorities in England to devise a route that engages with hundreds of communities, passing sporting venues, historic sites, local schools and areas of outstanding natural beauty.
"Yet the Queen's Baton Relay is far more than just a journey. It symbolises connecting people from every corner of the Commonwealth, celebrates Batonbearers who take on challenges and marks the countdown to the biggest sporting event in West Midlands history.
"And by the time the Baton returns to England for the final leg, 71 nations and territories will have already experienced the magic that comes with it.
"We hope that communities across the country join in the excitement, attend events near them, line the streets to cheer on our incredible Batonbearers and celebrate the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games."
Commonwealth Games Federation President, Dame Louise Martin DBE, said: "The Queen's Baton Relay symbolises hope, solidarity and a collaboration across the Commonwealth at a time when it is needed most. It continues to inspire people wherever it goes and creates huge excitement for Birmingham 2022 as it journeys towards the Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony on 28 July."