The Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay arrived in Sri Lanka today, reaching the 25th destination out of the 72nd Commonwealth nations and territories that it will be visiting.
Arriving from the Maldives, the Baton officially touched down at Bandaranaike International Airport, Colombo at 11.40 a.m. The Queen’s Baton, which carries a message from Her Majesty The Queen, arrived in Sri Lanka as part of its journey to the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, which will be held in England from 28 July until 8 August 2022.
The Queen’s Baton is in Sri Lanka for three days and during its time here, it will be carried by Batonbearers, including current and former athletes, and will visit Colombo, Kandy and Hatton and experience the Victoria Dam, a Tea Factory, and The Ceylon School for the deaf and blind.
President of Commonwealth Games Association of Sri Lanka, Mr. Suresh Subramainam said: “It is fantastic to have the Baton arrive in Sri Lanka today. Its arrival signifies an exciting moment in the lead up to the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, and I’m really looking forward to the various visits and activities during its time here.” The Queen’s Baton will be carried at the airport by Chinthana Vithanage and Dinusha Hansani Gomes, who have won medals at the Commonwealth Games.
The Queen’s Baton Relay will visit the following:
- CGA Sri Lanka Headquarters, Colombo
- British High Commission, Colombo
- Victoria Dam, Kandy
- Ranabima Royal College, Kandy
- Kirkoswald Tea Factory, Hatton
- The Ceylon School for the deaf and blind, Ratmalana
- Ministry of Youth and Sports at Independence Square
Commenting on the importance of this occasion, Maarya Rehman, British Council Sri Lanka Country Director, said: ‘We are indeed excited to be joining the local baton relay activities as it arrives in Sri Lanka today, highlighting the shared values of the Commonwealth, such as development, democracy and peace and a focus on young people.’ Since its inaugural appearance at the Cardiff 1958 Commonwealth Games, the Queen’s Baton Relay has been a tradition for the Commonwealth Games.
The Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay started at Buckingham Palace on 7th October 2021, when Her Majesty The Queen placed her Message to the Commonwealth into the Baton and passed it to fourtime Paralympic gold medallist and Team England athlete Kadeena Cox, who had the honour of being the first of thousands of Batonbearers to carry the Baton through the Commonwealth.
The 16th official Queen’s Baton Relay is an epic journey covering the entirety of the Commonwealth as it will travel to all 72 nations and territories, covering a distance of 140,000 kilometres. For 269 days, the Baton will travel to Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceania, the Caribbean and the Americas, before it embarks on the final stretch of its journey across England for 25 days. The Queen’s Baton Relay will complete its journey at the Opening Ceremony of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games on 28 July 2022. This is a traditional and fundamental part of the Games and the Opening Ceremony, as the final Batonbearer will pass the Baton back to The Queen. The Queen’s message to the Commonwealth will then be removed from the Baton and read aloud, marking the official start of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
Birmingham 2022 is staging the 16th official Queen’s Baton Relay – an epic journey across the Commonwealth, with The Queen’s Baton visiting all 72 nations and territories, reaching Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceania, the Caribbean and the Americas. The Relay will begin on 7 October 2021 at a special event at Buckingham Palace, where Her Majesty The Queen will place Her message to the Commonwealth into the Baton.
The Baton will travel for 294 days, visiting all 72 nations and territories and connecting communities in every corner of the Commonwealth, embracing unique cultures and sharing stories. 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 to us.
The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, which will be held from 28 July until 8 August 2022, will be a once in a lifetime opportunity to put the city, the region, and its people on the global stage. The Games is already proving to be a catalyst for transformation across the West Midlands, attracting new investment and funding, creating jobs and apprenticeships for local people and new opportunities for local businesses, as well as accelerating projects that will ensure the region is ready to host a fantastic sports and cultural celebration. Birmingham 2022 will be the Games for everyone, bringing people together from across Birmingham and the region, to provide a warm welcome to millions of visitors during the summer of 2022.
Full schedule of the Queen’s Baton Relay international route: