MERRY Hill is hosting an action-packed programme of free activities and events to celebrate the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

The celebrations begin on Sunday July 24 when the finale of the Queen’s Baton Relay will head to the Waterfront where there'll be a full day of family-friendly festivities from midday to 8pm.

Having made its way around the globe, the baton will pass through Dudley landmarks before reaching the Waterfront.

Local sports groups will be giving live demonstrations and taster sessions throughout the day, there'll be live entertainment and street food delights from Digbeth Dining Club.

Merry Hill is also launching its very own pop-up stadium at the heart of the centre, on the Lower Mall near M&S.

The new events space will host an 11-day long programme featuring activities and events to encourage visitors to have fun getting active.

Between Thursday July 28 to Sunday August 7, there will be free events taking place every day from 11am to 3pm, for a wide range of ages and abilities.

Visitors can get involved with drop-in sessions from Worcestershire Cricket and West Bromwich Albion FC Foundation.

Fans will also have chance to meet special guest and club mascot, Baggie Bird.

Visitors can also enjoy martial arts masterclasses, suitable for all skill levels, from GKR Karate and gymnastics displays from former Team GB Olympians, plus demonstrations, taster sessions and fitness classes from local sports heroes including Paul Campbell’s Karate & Sports Academy and Merry Hill’s Coach Harry from Fitness Studio 46.

Visitors can also test their skills in a head-to-head race around the Scalextric track using pedal bikes to power the cars.

Smoothie bikes will also be on hand to provide healthy refreshments. Visitors pick their ingredients then blend them up using their own pedal power.

Ping Pong Parlour, famous across the UK for bringing table tennis to unique locations, will also be encouraging players to take part.

Each day, once the activities have finished, the stadium will transform into a relaxed space to watch The Games on a giant screen, with free seating available from 3.30pm.

And to make sure visitors don’t miss a moment of the action on the track, The Games will be shown from 11am to 5pm on Super Sunday.

Jonathan Poole, centre manager at Merry Hill, said: “We wanted to celebrate this year’s Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games by bringing something different to the centre for all our visitors to enjoy, regardless of age or ability.

“From Thursday July 28, we’ll be unveiling the centre's brand-new Games inspired event stadium.

"We’ve brought together a brilliant cast of coaches and sporting talent, from local heroes right through to some of the biggest sporting organisations in the Midlands.

"We are so excited to be offering these free events every day throughout The Commonwealth Games as we look to inspire our visitors to try something new this summer.”