The Queen’s Baton today continued its tour of England ahead of the 2018 Commonwealth Games, visiting Stoke Mandeville Stadium, Buckinghamshire and the Lawn Bowls National Championships in Leamington Spa.

Commonwealth and Paralympic champion Ollie Hynd, MBE, supported an open sports day, held at Stoke Mandeville Stadium, which saw a variety of para and able bodied ‘come and try’ sessions, such as wheelchair rugby, tennis and water polo.

The nation’s leading Lawn Bowls stars, who will be vying for a place on Team England for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, are competing at Leamington Spa in the national championships.

The Baton was parachuted into England on Wednesday morning in Oxford, and has already visited London before heading to Buckinghamshire and Leamington Spa on day two of the tour.

Following the event in Stoke Mandeville, Commonwealth swimming champion Ollie Hynd said: “It’s fantastic to be here at Stoke Mandeville here today, seeing the facilities and showing the baton to the kids along here, getting them excited and involved in sport ahead of the Commonwealth Games next year.

“It’s not long now until the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and it’s great to see everything, and everyone, coming together with the Baton.

“I was lucky enough to go to Glasgow, which was a wonderful experience with such a high level of sport and the opportunity to be in that athlete environment with all the different sports – para and able bodied – was fantastic. And I am looking forward to hopefully experience that next year, it will be really special.”

After formally bringing the Baton to the Lawn Bowls event, Sarah Winckless, Chef de Mission, Commonwealth Games England said: “It’s great to have been able to bring the Queen’s Baton here today to the Lawn Bowls National Championships, where we received such a great welcome.

“The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games is getting very close, and we are fully focused on sending the best prepared English team to the Commonwealth Games.

“The Commonwealth Games provides athletes with an amazing opportunity to compete across a variety of sports, including the likes of Lawn Bowls – for which the Commonwealth Games is one of the highlights on the international calendar.”

The Queen’s Baton Relay is a Commonwealth Games tradition that celebrates the Commonwealth’s diversity, inspires community pride and excites people about the world-class festival of sports and culture to come.

The Queen’s Baton carries a message from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II that calls for athletes to come together in peaceful and friendly competition.

Friday 18 August will see the Baton heading to Manchester, stopping at Old Trafford Cricket Stadium for the Lancashire Lightning V Birmingham Bears T20 Blast fixture after an exciting morning at MediaCityUK.

On Saturday 19 August and Sunday 20 August, the Baton will be visiting England’s 2022 Commonwealth Games prospective bid cities Liverpool and Birmingham.