Edward sends best wishes to competitors ahead of Commonwealth Games

Over the next 11 days more than 5,000 athletes from 72 nations will compete in 280 events across 19 sports.

28 July 2022

The Earl of Wessex has wished Commonwealth Games competitors well in achieving their best and inspiring the next generation, in a message released ahead of the event’s opening ceremony.

Edward, speaking in his role as vice-patron of the Commonwealth Games Federation, described the sporting championships, affectionately known as the friendly Games, as the “greatest manifestation of the Commonwealth”.

The Commonwealth Games, hosted by the city of Birmingham, will be launched on Thursday evening, promising to be the biggest sporting festival in the UK since the London Olympics a decade ago.

The Prince of Wales will represent the Queen at the opening ceremony, where he will read the monarch’s message for the Games, which she placed into the Commonwealth Games Baton.

Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games
The Queen, with the Earl of Wessex, passes the Commonwealth baton to its first bearer, British parasport athlete Kadeena Cox, during a ceremony at Buckingham Palace (Victoria Jones/PA)

It has travelled the globe during a 294-day journey to all 72 nations and territories of the Commonwealth.

The earl said in his message: “To all athletes, officials, spectators and visitors I bid you a very warm welcome and thank you all for coming. It simply wouldn’t be the great festival of sport it is without you.

“Yet the Games are more than just about sport, they are the greatest manifestation of the Commonwealth: our extraordinary collection of countries linked together through a myriad of bonds of common interests and relationships.

“The parallel arts festival is an integral part of this celebration and reminds us of our shared values and the tremendous talent that exists across our family of nations.

“The stage is now set and the show is about to begin. To everyone involved in the production, whether behind the scenes or front-of-house: thank you, good luck and enjoy yourselves. I know from all your preparations that you want to make Birmingham 2022 a brilliant and memorable experience.

“It is to those who actually have to go on to the stage, the performers and those who are about to compete, that I wish particular good luck, to achieve your best and to inspire the next generation.

“Whatever your role or involvement, I hope you have an experience of a lifetime and enjoy every moment.”

Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games – Previews – Wednesday 27th July
The Games will be launched on Thursday (Tim Goode/PA)

Over the next 11 days more than 5,000 athletes from 72 nations will compete in 280 events across 19 sports.

Members of the royal family including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Royal and Earl and Countess of Sussex will attend events celebrating the Games, meeting competitors, volunteers and support staff, visiting venues and attending sporting fixtures.

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said the city is “buzzing” and defended the expense of hosting the Games at a time when the country is facing a cost-of-living crisis.

The event had a £778 million budget, funded by the Government and Birmingham City Council.

Birmingham was awarded the Games after scheduled host Durban in South Africa pulled out over financial problems.

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