It’s nearly here! And with the Queen’s Baton Relay starting this week – the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games feels closer than ever.

Eleven days of world-class sport is coming to Birmingham and the wider West Midlands in under 30 days. Thousands will be descending on our city – not to mention the estimated one billion who will be watching our region at home.

The Alexander Stadium will come alive with an opening ceremony co-produced by Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight. And Birmingham, as well as Sandwell, Wolverhampton, Sutton Coldfield and Cannock Chase will be showcased to the entire world.

Around 6,500 athletes and team officials will be coming to Birmingham for the Commonwealth Games – while 72 nations and territories will send teams to compete.

There are 19 sports and eight para sports that will feature in Birmingham 2022 – making it the biggest sports programme ever for a Commonwealth Games.

But when does the Commonwealth Games start? And what about the Queen’s Baton Relay? We have rounded up all the information you need to know.

When does the Commonwealth Games begin?

The Commonwealth Games will take place over 11 days – from Thursday, July 28 to Monday, August 8. The only event taking place on July 28 is the event’s official opening ceremony – the competition will officially start the following day.

The Commonwealth Games opening ceremony will feature dancers, performers and drivers to officially open the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. The conclusion of the Queen’s Baton Relay will also take place at Alexander Stadium.

Around 30,000 people will be in the Alexander Stadium for the opening ceremony at the end of July with a billion set to be tuning in around the world as athletes from around the world gather to write their own versions of history.

The opening ceremony will see Peaky Blinders’ writer and creator, Steven Knight, lead the creative team has previously stated that he was keen to showcase West Midlands talent and diversity. A 1,000-strong choir and the arrival of the Queen’s Baton will also feature.

The opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games will run between 8pm and 11pm at the Alexander Stadium. Limited tickets for the opening ceremony are still available on the website.

What events will take place on the first day?

The first sports events are due to get underway on the second day of the Commonwealth Games – Friday, July 29. It’s a busy day with up to 30 events taking place – including:

Lawn Bowls and Para Lawn Bowls – 8.30am to 1.45pm – Victoria Park, Leamington Spa

Badminton – 9am to 12.30pm – The NEC Hall 5, Birmingham

Gymnastics Artistic – 9am to 2.30pm – Arena Birmingham

Hockey – 9am to 12.30pm – University of Birmingham Hockey and Squash Centre

Rugby Sevens – 9am to 1.30pm – Coventry Stadium

Table Tennis and Para Table Tennis – 9.30am to 2.30pm – The NEC Hall 3, Birmingham

Cycling Track and Para Track – 10am to 1pm – Lee Valley Velo Park, London

Aquatics Swimming and Para Swimming – 10.30am to 12.30pm – Sandwell Aquatics Centre

Cricket T20 – 11am to 2.30pm – Edgbaston Stadium

Triathlon and and Para Triathlon – 11am to 2.30pm – Sutton Park, Sutton Coldfield

Boxing – 12pm to 3pm – The NEC Hall 4, Birmingham

Netball – 12pm to 3.30pm – The NEC Arena, Birmingham

Squash – 12pm to 3.15pm – University of Birmingham Hockey and Squash Centre

Badminton – 2pm to 5.30pm – The NEC Hall 5, Birmingham

Hockey – 2pm to 5.30pm – University of Birmingham Hockey and Squash Centre

Lawn Bowls and Para Lawn Bowls – 3pm to 8.15pm – Victoria Park, Leamington Spa

Basketball 3×3 and Wheelchair Basketball 3×3 – 3.30pm to 6pm – Smithfield

Cycling Track and Para Track – 4pm to 6.30pm – Lee Valley Velo Park, London

Table Tennis and Para Table Tennis – 4pm to 9pm – The NEC Hall 3, Birmingham

Gymnastics Artistic – 5pm to 8.30pm – Arena Birmingham

Rugby Sevens – 5.30pm to 10pm – Coventry Stadium

Cricket T20 – 6pm to 9.30pm – Edgbaston Stadium

Netball – 6pm to 9.30pm – The NEC Arena, Birmingham

Squash – 6pm to 8.30pm – University of Birmingham Hockey and Squash Centre

Boxing – 6.30pm to 9pm – The NEC Hall 4, Birmingham

Badminton – 7pm to 10.30pm – The NEC Hall 5, Birmingham

Hockey – 7pm to 10.30pm – University of Birmingham Hockey and Squash Centre

Aquatics Swimming and Para Swimming – 7pm to 10pm – Sandwell Aquatics Centre

Basketball 3×3 and Wheelchair Basketball 3×3 – 7.30pm to 10pm – Smithfield

When does the Queen’s Baton Relay start in England?

The baton will visit 180 English cities, towns and villages over 29 days – including 11 days in the Midlands – before the journey concludes at the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony at the Alexander Stadium on July 28.

The Queen’s Baton Relay is currently travelling for a total of 294 days across the Commonwealth, in a journey that sees the Queen’s Baton visit all 72 nations and territories. It aims to embrace culture; ignite hope, solidarity and collaboration; and share stories that inspire others to take on challenges.

The Baton returns to England today Monday, July 4, to commence a 25-day tour of the regions with activities and notable visits throughout. It will arrive at The Eden Project in Cornwall at 6.30am today.

Over the next few days it will visit Exeter, Bournemouth, Bath, Bristol, Hereford, Winchester, Southampton, Canterbury, Dover, Luton, Cambridge, Leicester, Nottingham, Derby. Only July 12 it will head to Yorkshire, followed by north east on July 14 and 15, and the north west on July 16 and 17.

When will it visit the West Midlands?

The Queen’s Baton Relay will eventually make its way to the West Midlands on Monday, July 18. It will culminate in Birmingham on July 27 and July 28.

Highlights in the West Midlands include travelling by coracle on River Severn (July 19), wakeboarding at Chasewater (July 20), Black Country Living Museum, Dudley (July 24), abseiling from Galton Bridge, Smethwick (July 25)

Here is everywhere the baton will visit in the West Midlands and on what date:

Monday, July 18 – Liverpool, Keele, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Kidsgrove, Stoke-on-Trent, and Shrewsbury

Tuesday, July 19 – Ironbridge, Telford, Newport, Lilleshall, Stafford, Stone, Rudyard, and Leek

Wednesday, July 20 – Uttoxeter, Burton upon Trent, Lichfield, Burntwood, Chasewater, and Tamworth

Thursday, July 21 – Bodymoor Heath, Atherstone, Market Bosworth, Nuneaton, Bedworth, Rugby, and Coventry

Friday, July 22 – Kenilworth, Whitnash, Warwick, Gaydon, Stratford-upon-Avon, Broadway, Pershore, Upton-upon-Severn, Malvern, and Worcester

Saturday, July 23 – Redditch, Bromsgrove, Kidderminster, Bridgnorth, Codsall, Rugeley, Hednesford, Cannock, and Walsall

Sunday, July 24 – Wolverhampton, Halesowen, Stourbridge, Dudley, Brierley Hill

Monday, July 25 – Oldbury, Wednesbury, Tipton, Cradley Heath, Rowley Regis, Blackheath, Bearwood, Smethwick, and West Bromwich.

Tuesday, July 26 – Castle Bromwich, Fordbridge, Chelmsley Wood, Marston Green, Hampton in Arden, Meriden, Berkswell, Balsall Common, Knowle, Dorridge, Cheswick Green, Hockley Heath, Dickens Heath, Shirley, and Solihull

Wednesday, July 27 & Thursday, July 28 – Birmingham.

Source: Dayna Farrington