Games Batonbearers heading for Stafford and Stone 

    21/06/2022


    Gayle Routledge

    A six-time Olympian and the founder of a bereavement charity have been selected to be part of the The Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay. 

    The relay will be coming to Stafford and Stone on Tuesday 19 July on its way to the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony in the Midlands later that month. 

    And former world number one archer, Alison Williamson MBE, will be one of those taking part in the relay - a decade after carrying the Olympic Torch for London 2012. 

    Nineteen worthy batonbearers will be carrying the baton on a route which will include from Stafford Castle to the town’s Victoria Park and from Westbridge Park through the town centre in Stone. 

    More on the route, timings and road closures from www.staffordbc.gov.uk/queens-baton-relay  

    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 relay will travel the length and breadth of England for a total of 29 days before culminating at the Opening Ceremony for Birmingham 2022 on 28 July.  

    Ex-GB archer Alison is an Olympic medalist having competed in six consecutive games and also won two silver medals at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi in 2010.  

    The former world number one, who lives in Great Haywood near Stafford, carried the Olympic Torch in 2012 and said it would be an honour to be able to play a part in the baton relay - and hopes her leg of the route will be in her adopted borough. 

    But her selection for the relay was not solely down to her success in the sporting field - the part time Foster-mum was also nominated for community work including setting up a local book club during the pandemic and undertaking regular litter picks in the village. 

    Alison said: “I loved carrying the Olympic Torch in Shropshire ten years ago and it would be such an honour to take part in a leg of the Commonwealth Games baton relay in Stafford Borough.” 

    Gayle Routledge (pictured) is the founder of ‘A Child Of Mine’ which provides emotional and practical support to bereaved parents and families after a baby or child has died. 

    She said: “I am really honoured to have been nominated for such a prestigious, once in a life-time opportunity. I was overwhelmed when I heard I had been selected and I hope this is a reflection of the wonderful work that is done within the community by all those people who support the charity.”  

    The relay will arrive at Stafford Castle in the afternoon and make its way along Newport Road on a 30-minute journey to Victoria Park. It will then be driven to Stone Leisure Centre later that afternoon and carried through the town and back to the Canoe Club in Westbridge Park - before leaving via vehicle for Staffordshire Moorlands. 

    Councillor Carolyn Trowbridge, Cabinet Member for Leisure at the borough council, paid tribute to all the batonbearers. 

    “It is wonderful that it was the community who nominated people they felt deserved the honour of carrying the baton. This will create so many memories from the day and I hope residents will come out and line the relay route to cheer them on. 

    “There has been a lot of work behind the scenes by the council, our partners Freedom Leisure, and the QBR organisers to ensure Stafford and Stone were chosen as venues on the route of this fantastic journey of the baton - and now we can’t wait to see it arriving in our borough. 

    Press Release No 5917

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