Team England’s record-breaking success at last summer’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow continues after The Queen’s Baton Relay in England was shortlisted for the Participation Event of the Year at the BT Sport Industry Awards 2015 on Friday.
The awards celebrate the most creative, innovative and commercially successful work produced by agencies, governing bodies, teams and federations who all had a major part to play in shaping the British sport industry from the past 12 months.
Last summer the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games Queen’s Baton went on a two-week journey through England as part of its 190,000 kilometre global journey leading up the Games in Scotland.
Starting in Manchester on May 31, the baton captured the imagination of the country as it visited 14 different locations before stopping off at Alnwick Castle, Northumberland on June 13.
With specially chosen batonbearers and a series of public events to celebrate sport and show support for Team England, the event proved the perfect build up to Glasgow where England topped the medal table for the first time since 1986.
President of Commonwealth Games England and batonbearer Dame Kelly Holmes said: “Sport is about trying to inspire the next generation, having the young people being engaged in what the Commonwealth movement is about.
“If you inspire people, you might get them interested in sport, they might then take up a sport, they might be good at it, they might then have dreams to be the next champion.
“I think you don’t have champions unless you’ve inspired them and hopefully we did our little bit with the relay.”
The relay saw a host of English sporting stars such as Sir Matthew Pinsent and Lizzy Yarnold carry the baton while members of the public were also chosen for their contribution to local community sport.
Four-time Olympic rowing champion Pinsent enjoyed a rather different way to carry the baton, abseiling down from the ArcelorMittal Orbit to bring the baton into the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London.
“As soon as they said would you like to carry the baton, I said absolutely, it’s a once in a life time opportunity, you’re not going to get that sort of chance again,” he said.
“To feel part of it and Glasgow 2014 was really special.
“It was a really proud moment to be a part of the build up towards the Games.”
The Queen's Baton Relay was supported on its journey around England by National Lottery funding from Sport England.
Nick Bitel, Sport England’s chairman said: “We saw thousands of people coming out, being enthused by the story of the baton, by the story of hope and by the story of come and try a sport.
“That’s the message that Sport England were so delighted to be able to partner with Commonwealth Games England over.”
The various winners of the BT Sports Industry Awards 2015 will be announced at a star-studded ceremony in London on Thursday 30th April.
Nick Keller, Chairman, Sport Industry Group said: “The level of work submitted this year has been higher than ever, signifying that securing a place on the shortlist is a huge achievement.
“We look forward to announcing the results and celebrating on 30th April.”
© Sportsbeat 2015