Alnwick to host Commonwealth Games baton relay

The Queen's Baton is transported by wooden canoe from Kavieng to Nusa Island in Papua New Guinea.

The Queen's Baton is transported by wooden canoe from Kavieng to Nusa Island in Papua New Guinea.


The Queen’s Baton Relay (QBR), the curtain-raiser to this year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, will conclude its journey around England in Alnwick this summer.

And the stop at Alnwick Castle, on Friday, June 13, will include a ticket-only evening event, one of just 14 in the country, and the only one north of Leeds.

It will be the final event in England before the baton is handed over at the English/Scottish border.

Mayor of Alnwick, Bill Grisdale, said: “This is fantastic news for Alnwick.

“The event at Alnwick Castle on June 13 should be a wonderful day for the town.

“It builds on the success we had with the Olympic Torch Relay in 2012 and it is a measure of the town’s prestige that we have been chosen once again to host an international event of this importance.”

To celebrate the baton’s stay in Alnwick, hundreds of schoolchildren will be invited to the Castle to take part in a series of sports – both modern and traditional – to symbolise the region’s sporting heritage.

A ticket-only evening event will also give thousands of people a chance to see the baton on stage and enjoy music, dance and a taste of the Commonwealth.

Details of the event will be announced nearer the time.

Plus, at each event, there will be a small number of batonbearers, specially chosen for their contribution to sport in the local community. More information about the batonbearers at each event will be announced in the spring.

Leader of Northumberland County Counci, Coun Grant Davey, said: “To be selected is a fantastic honour for the county and once again the world’s spotlight will be on us.

“We have worked hard with our partners to bring the Queen’s Baton Relay to Alnwick and it should bring significant investment into the local economy.

“It’s also great for the people of Northumberland to be able to play their part in welcoming the baton into the county and making this a memorable day for all.”

Commonwealth Games England President, Dame Kelly Holmes, who won Commonwealth gold in Manchester in 2002, said: “Alnwick Castle will be a splendid and iconic venue for the finale of the English QBR journey.

“The 2002 Games helped me achieve so much in my career and I’m urging the English public to back the team in July. The QBR is a great chance to both send your backing to the team in Glasgow and have a go at some of the sports that will be available to try at QBR events.”

By the time of its arrival in England, the baton will have visited 68 nations and territories and covered almost a third of the world’s population. The baton contains a message from the Queen to the Commonwealth that will be read out at the Opening Ceremony of the Glasgow Games.

The full list of destinations in England is as follows: Manchester/Congleton, Cheshire, May 31; Sheffield, June 1; Birmingham, June 2; Plymouth and Bristol, June 3; Southampton, June 4; Kent, June 5; Oxford, June 6; London over the weekend, June 7 and 8; Suffolk, June 9; Leicester, June 10; Hull, June 11; Leeds, June 12; Newcastle/Gateshead and Alnwick, June 13.




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