The Steel City welcomed the Queen’s Baton Relay yesterday on a day of sporting participation in Sheffield.

Young volunteer Bessie Sorsby got the duties underway in the glorious morning sunshine at High Bradfield before the baton was treated to a cycle escort from Sheffrec Cycling Club out of the village.

Sorsby, who’s part of the Sheffield Academy of Young Leader, plays a major role in encouraging young people to get involved in sport and was delighted to see her own efforts mirrored in the baton’s national message.

“It’s great that the baton is focused on being a participation event as it encourages young people to get involved in sport from an early age and gets right to the heart of communities,” said the 17-year-old.

“I’m just really honoured to have been given the chance to carry the baton. It was such a surreal experience.

“I’m based down the road so it’s quite weird being cheered on your normal route to school.”

Reigning Commonwealth Games squash champion Nick Matthew joined the relay for the whole day and offered a masterclass to young hopefuls at the Concorde Sports Centre during an afternoon of sporting fun.

Hockey, netball and rock climbing were just some of the activities on offer and former Commonwealth cyclist Bryan Steel knows how important participation at all levels can be.

Steel, who won three Commonwealth medals, believes the nature of the Games offers a positive message to all and has the capacity to educate individuals beyond sport itself.

“It’s not about winning, it’s about taking part as you can learn so much from sport,” said Steel.

“I was a disaffected young person but was lucky enough to find sport and I believe it’s made me into the well-rounded person I like to think I am today.

“Sport is about being able to communicate, work together as a team and raising your game, and I think the Commonwealth Games and days like today are ideal for teaching that.

“The Games can be just one big family and its message is not just about elite sport but it also promotes the taking part as opposed to winning medals.”