Hundreds of residents braved sweltering hot conditions to cheer on local people carrying the baton in Stafford and Stone yesterday (Tuesday.)
The Commonwealth Games Queen’s Baton Relay (QBR) arrived at Stafford Castle in the afternoon with a dozen batonbearers taking it on a 30-minute trip to Victoria Park during one of the hottest parts of the day.
The Mayor of Stafford Borough, Councillor Philp Leason, was on hand to greet the Birmingham 2022 baton at the park before it left by vehicle to Stone Leisure Centre. The relay then went through the town before returning to Westbridge Park where it was taken on a slalom course at the Stafford and Stone Canoe Club by batonbearer Julia Bailey - accompanied by around 20 junior paddlers from the club.
Among the other batonbearers were fundraiser Steve Glover who handed over the baton to his 81-year-old mum, Anne, Alison Williamson, a six-time Olympian, Athens 2004 medalist and former world number one archer, Paralympian Ian Marsden and Stone running legend, Chris Barlow - who was chosen by Stafford Borough Council to take part in the relay.
Batonbearers were selected because of their contribution to local communities and beyond - and you can see more about some of them from www.staffordbc.gov.uk/meet-our-batonbearers
Stafford Borough Council and partners, Freedom Leisure, worked with the QBR committee, as well as Stone Town Council and the Canoe Club, to help organise the relay for the area.
Councillor Carolyn Trowbridge, Cabinet Member for Leisure, said: “What a fantastic turnout. Hundreds of people cheering these incredible batonbearers on an extremely hot afternoon in Stafford and Stone.
“The Queen’s Baton Relay in the borough was a tremendous success and some lovely memories were created for those taking part, and their family and friends, in this once in a lifetime opportunity.
“And we must remember the hard work that goes on behind the scenes in bringing the baton to Stafford and Stone and ensuring everything went ok on the day.”
Unfortunately, planned sport and leisure activities in Victoria Park with local primary schoolchildren to celebrate the arrival of the baton throughout the afternoon were cancelled on health grounds because of the extreme hot weather.
People across the country were asked to nominate those they thought should be given the honour of taking on the baton when it returned to the UK following a route across the globe. The baton is travelling the length and breadth of England for a total of 29 days before culminating at the Opening Ceremony for Birmingham 2022 on 28 July.
Press Release No 5928