Sports, Service and the Commonwealth

  • 11 April - 11 November 2022

This summer, the Arboretum in Staffordshire is celebrating sport, service and friendship between the nations and territories of the Commonwealth. 

Timed to coincide with the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, the Sports, Service and the Commonwealth programme shines a light on the camaraderie of communities from across the Commonwealth who have served alongside each other, while highlighting the important role of sport in the Armed Forces. This new programme of activities is presented as part of the Birmingham 2022 Festival. 

Visitors will be able to see new exhibitions, create a collaborative work of art, take part in guided walks, and participate in sporting activities, an augmented reality experience and our ever-popular outdoor escape challenge.

You’ll be inspired to learn about and remember diverse communities from across the Commonwealth which have served alongside each other to build the international friendships and world we know today. Plus, you’ll discover how sport plays a key part in the lives of Armed Forces personnel and in supporting ex-serving personnel as they return to civilian life. 
HM The Queen
Reuters / Alamy Stock Photo

Sports, Service and the Commonwealth Highlights


The Queen’s Commonwealth - Free

17 March – 19 June 

Commemorating the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and celebrating the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, this exhibition explores the Queen's role as the Head of the Commonwealth. This celebration of the countries that make up a third of the world’s population will examine how the Commonwealth fosters collaboration and friendship through a shared spirit of service. 

Find out more...

Commonwealth ARboretum - Free

28 May – 4 September 

This new augmented reality experience takes families on a journey to learn about the diverse communities and friendship of countries that take part in the Commonwealth Games. Commonwealth ARboretum will be in the free Landscapes of Life exhibition in the Remembrance Centre. 

Commonwealth Outdoor Escape Challenge - £12/£15 per group

28 May – 30 October 

Now in its third year, this year's version of the popular outdoor escape challenge invites groups of families and friends to solve cryptic puzzles and discover the stories behind some of the memorials dedicated to communities from across the Commonwealth.  

Sports in Service - Free

25 June – 16 October 

The Sports in Service exhibition explores the role sport plays in supporting Armed Forces personnel and veterans. Serving in the Armed Forces is physically demanding, and personnel undertake rigorous physical training to ensure they remain fit and ready to serve. Many personnel also compete in service sports teams, helping to foster camaraderie while developing skills. In addition, sports often play a crucial role in rehabilitating personnel who have been injured or are living with the impacts of service. 

From 9 July - 4 September families will have the opportunity to participate in free sporting activities at the Arboretum and discover the role that sport plays in the Armed Forces Community. 

Greetings From... - Free

28 May – 13 November* 

Visitors are invited to design their own postcard in Remembrance of those who have travelled to serve their Nation and build new communities, keeping in touch with distant loved ones and friends with letters and postcards. The designs will be added to a new art installation in the grounds of the Arboretum.  

*Participation can take place between 11am and 3.30pm on the following days: 28 May – 5 June; 11, 12, 18, 19 25 and 26 June; 2 and 3 July; 9 July – 4 September.