Despite the heat, crowds turned out in force to offer a warm Knowsley welcome to the Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay as it travelled through the borough on Sunday 17 July.
The Baton was carried by a host of Batonbearers who had been nominated for their inspiring stories and great personal achievements. The Batonbearers included Dennis Adelsburg, who at 92 years old is still Chair of his local running club – Skelmersdale Harriers – and continues to run with them, raising money for charity along the way.
Knowsley Leisure and Culture Park was the first stop on the Baton’s tour of the borough where it was welcomed by a ‘guard of honour’ made up of more than 100 girl guides from groups across Merseyside. It was then escorted to the Velodrome by a group of runners from local running club, Liverpool Running Bugs.
At the Velodrome the Baton was mounted on a bike and completed several laps of the track escorted by members of Runcorn and Liverpool Cycling clubs before crowds were treated to an adrenaline-filled skills display by Knowsley BMX Club before leaving the Leisure and Culture Park to its next destination, Knowsley Safari.
At the Safari, the Baton was carried though the Foot Safari by the Batonbearers stopping for photos with some of the parks iconic exotic animal species before departing to travel to its final destination – t Shakespeare North Playhouse in Prescot.
As crowds awaited the Baton’s arrival in Prescot they were kept entertained by MC and local performer Curtis Watt and treated to a sneak peek of a brand new ‘mass movement spectacle’ featuring 100 local dancers which has been commissioned as part of Knowsley’s Sporting Legends Relay and will premiere officially on Saturday 23 July
The momentous day wrapped up with closing remarks and thanks from the Mayor of Knowsley, Cllr Eddie Connor followed by an energetic performance of a specially commissioned song – ‘A Song for Prescot’ performed by pupils from Evelyn Community Primary School:
Leader of Knowsley Council, Cllr Graham Morgan said: “We were so very proud to host the Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay in Knowsley. The outpouring of community pride and support was fantastic to see and just demonstrates once again that Knowsley has an irrepressible appetite for events like this, with enormous cultural value. The Baton Relay was also a fitting start to our week-long Sporting Legends Relay which reflects on and celebrates Knowsley’s rich history of sporting success and sports personalities.”
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About the Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay
Birmingham 2022 is hosting the 16th official Queen’s Baton Relay – a journey which brings together and celebrates communities in every corner of the Commonwealth ahead of Birmingham 2022.
The Baton has already begun its epic journey across the Commonwealth, where it will have visited Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceania, the Caribbean, and the Americas, it will return to England in July 2022 for the final countdown to the Commonwealth Games.
The Queen’s Baton will travel around England for 25 days, before the Relay officially ends at the Opening Ceremony of the Commonwealth Games on 28 July 2022. The Queen’s Baton Relay is a Games tradition that celebrates, connects and excites communities from across Commonwealth during the build up to the Games.
This collective journey will ignite hope, solidarity and collaboration for the next generation, with these stories leaving us all inspired to take on the challenges that matter most to us. For more information, visit birmingham2022.com/qbr