Worcester man prepares to play his part as Batonbearer for the Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay
As The Birmingham 2022 Queen's Baton Relay travels through the West Midlands on its way to the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, one Worcester man is preparing to play his part.
Charity stalwart Philip Fowler was nominated by Worcester City Council and Worcester Community Trust to carry the Baton and says it is a "huge honour".
Philip, a trustee for Worcester Community Trust, said: "I was genuinely flabbergasted when I received the letter inviting me to be a Batonbearer – flabbergasted, but very proud. To be nominated by the City Council and the Community Trust is a huge honour and I'll admit I was a little teary-eyed."
Philip is closely involved in the charitable work of Worcester Community Trust and when the pandemic lockdown measures were introduced, he took the lead as a volunteer, helping to pack and deliver essential supplies to some of Worcester's most vulnerable residents.
Married with three children, Philip runs his own businesses and is also a volunteer non-executive director and trustee at St Paul's Hostel, which provides support to rough sleepers.
He added: "I don't seek the limelight, I just get on with things. People say to me 'you always have a lot on', but it is about helping vulnerable people in the city and I just need to do it.
"I'm very much looking forward to being a Batonbearer – to be chosen by the city and the community is a great honour."
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.
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 2022. The Baton will arrive to England on Monday 4 July to commence a 25-day tour of the regions.
On the afternoon of July 22, Worcester will officially welcome the Baton from 5.30pm.
During its time in Worcester, the Queen's Baton Relay will visit Worcester Cathedral, Worcestershire County Cricket Club's famous New Road ground, and the new Arches – Worcester development. It will cross the River Severn, the longest river in England - and make a memorable visit to Worcester Racecourse.
More details of its route through Worcester will be revealed very soon.
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 gives more detail on the events and where to line the route.
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.
The Queen's Baton will travel via land, air and sea, and more than 180 communities in England will experience the Relay on a route spanning 2,500 miles (4,000 kilometres). 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, the Americas and the Caribbean.
The Queen's Baton
The Queen's Baton for Birmingham 2022 was created in a West Midlands collaboration that fused art, technology and science. Made from copper, aluminium and steel, the Baton also features a platinum strand in homage to The Queen in her Platinum Jubilee year. It is equipped with cutting-edge technology: a 360-degree camera, heart rate monitor, atmospheric sensors and LED lighting.