Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay will visit Exeter on 4 July

The Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay is confirmed to visit Exeter during its final journey through England this summer, as the full route is revealed.

And Exeter Foodbank manager Mark Richardson has been nominated to be one of those carrying the baton along the route.

Exeter will receive the visit on Monday 4 July, on the South West leg of the route which also includes St Austell, Plymouth, Portland & Weymouth, Poole and Bournemouth.

Birmingham 2022 is hosting the 16th official Queen’s Baton Relay – a journey which brings together and celebrates communities across the Commonwealth during the build up to the Games.

In England, the Queen’s Baton Relay will provide the opportunity for communities to experience the excitement for Birmingham 2022, as the 11 days of showstopping sport nears ever closer.

The Queen’s Baton Relay is set to travel the length and breadth of England for a total of 29 days, before culminating at the Opening Ceremony for Birmingham 2022 on 28 July.

Kicking off on Thursday 2 June, the Baton will spend four days in London, coinciding with the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Weekend. The Baton will then resume the international journey and return to England on Monday 4 July – when it will arrive in Exeter – to commence a 25-day tour of the regions.

Thousands of Batonbearers, each with inspiring backgrounds and stories, will have the honour of carrying the Baton during the journey through England, including those nominated in recognition of their contributions to their local community, whether that be in sport, education, the arts, culture or charity.

Between 40 and 130 Batonbearers will carry the Baton each day, and the Relay will reach hundreds of villages, towns and cities during its tour of the country. 

One of the confirmed community Batonbearers in Exeter is Mark Richardson, manager of Exeter Foodbank (EFB).

His pioneering work supporting those in need in Exeter and beyond particularly over the pandemic is inspirational. Sensitive to ensuring the dignity of EFB clients, Mark has transformed the offering to a supermarket-type service where clients choose what they need rather than be handed a ‘standard bag of food offering’.

Mark has also established a team of volunteer drivers to deliver to those self-isolating with COVID.  He has also secured funding for an advice & support worker who work with EFB clients to develop a route out of EFB dependency.

Members of the public are encouraged to get involved with the celebrations and embrace the arrival of the Baton, taking the opportunity to experience the buzz of Birmingham 2022 in their community. The Birmingham 2022 website will be updated with information over the coming months, with detail on the events and where to line the route.               

Travelling via land, air and sea, more than 180 communities in England will experience the Queen’s Baton on a route spanning 2,500 miles. From energetic cities and historic market towns, to rolling countryside and rugged coastline, the Baton will head as far south as Cornwall and as far north as Northumberland.

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 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, who had the honour of being 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 consisting of five days in Scotland, four in Northern Ireland and five in Wales, where it will finish on Sunday 3 July, before returning to England in summer for the final countdown to the Commonwealth Games.

Phil Batty, Director of Ceremonies, Culture & Queen’s Baton Relay, said: “Whilst 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 sport 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 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.”

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