With just under 100 days to go until the XX Commonwealth Games begins in Glasgow, Commonwealth Games England and our partner Local Authorities have announced the first tranche of batonbearers who will carry the Queen’s Baton into events after the baton arrives in England on May 31.
Batonbearers have been selected by Local Authorities based on their contribution to sport within the local community. This may be as a gifted and talented athlete, coach, trainer or committed volunteer. Full details of who is carrying the baton and their inspiring stories are found in the relevant event section of the Commonwealth Games England website, with more batonbearer names to follow in the coming weeks.
Batonbearers include Olympians Brendan Foster and Jonathan Edwards in Newcastle, professional cricketer Shiv Thakor, 20, in Leicester, and London 2012 Olympic boxing bronze medallist Anthony Ogogo in Suffolk.
Millie Knight, Britain’s youngest ever winter Paralympian will be a batonbearer in Kent and the Paralympic athlete Stephen Miller will bear the baton in Alnwick as the Queen’s Baton Relay completes its English journey.
But as well as the recognised sports stars, batonbearers who are less well known illustrate the great work that goes on in local communities, like 17-year-old Elizabeth “Bessie” Sorsby, from Mosborough, Sheffield, who does extensive voluntary work in her community.
80-year-old Ken Webb from Ipswich has dedicated himself to keeping fit for over 60 years and is a regular participant in sport, who puts his health and longevity down to his active sporting life. Coach Annie Clewlow will bear the baton in Southampton. She has co-ordinated a diving programme to ensure every child in the city experiences a free diving session and created Diveability the only disability diving programme in the world.
Tracie Colbron is a basketball coach who was honoured as the children’s coach of the year for the West of England in 2013 for her work in junior girls basketball. She will be a batonbearer in Bristol. Charlotte Sansome from Leeds will carry the Queen’s baton in her home town. She instigated the Helping Hand for Hockey, a free coaching scheme for local primary schools.
Doaa Shayea is a flourishing wheelchair athlete and a role model for people with disability. She will carry the baton in Plymouth. Julie Willliams will bear the baton in Hull and is the coach at Hull High Flyers Trampoline Club. She supported and mentored local volunteer coaches and young people to get involved in the sport.
Ralph Aldred suddenly lost his sight last year after being a cricket player in his youth. He now plays and coaches for Lancashire Lions visually impaired cricket team. He will be a batonbearer in Manchester.
Dame Kelly Holmes, President of Commonwealth Games England, said: “Our England Batonbearers are going to play a crucial part when the Queen’s Baton Relay arrives in England on May 31st.
“They have all been selected due to their passion for sport and the way in which they share this with their communities and look to get people involved and active.
“I’m encouraging everyone in to get involved when the Queen’s Baton Relay comes to your town or city – find out what event is taking place and if you can be there then please go and cheer on your batonbearers and be part of the Team England send-off to Glasgow 2014.”
The Queen’s Baton Relay will move around England from May 31 to June 14, visiting local landmarks and acting as the centrepiece for events happening to celebrate the countdown to the Games that start in Glasgow on July 23.
Its visit to England is the last international leg of the relay before the baton reaches Scotland. Each English venue hosting a day with the baton will organise a series of public events, to celebrate sport and rouse support for the team.
The journey of the Queen’s Baton through England is being supported by £200,000 of National Lottery funding from Sport England. The investment is in addition to the funding Sport England gives to Commonwealth Games England and athletes in 10 Commonwealth Games sports.
Commonwealth Games England is calling on the English public to greet the baton with messages of support to Team England via @weRengland or the Commonwealth Games England Facebook page OfficialWeAreEngland, and feel motivated to get moving and perhaps try a new sport.
Saturday 31st May