Sheffield to host baton relay ahead of Commonwealth Games

Torchbearer 140 Lord Sebastian Coe carries the Olympic Flame on the Torch Relay leg through Sheffield.
Torchbearer 140 Lord Sebastian Coe carries the Olympic Flame on the Torch Relay leg through Sheffield.
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Sheffield will help drum up support for Team England ahead of the Commonwealth Games, when it hosts the Queen’s Baton Relay.

The baton is due to come to Sheffield as part of a nationwide curtain-raiser tour involving just 14 towns and cities before the Games kick off in Glasgow on July 23.

It follows the success of the Olympic Torch Relay, which came to Sheffield in 2012.

Torch bearers included Sheffield-born Lord Seb Coe, an Olympic gold medallist who became chairman of the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games.

Organisers say the baton is due to arrive in Sheffield on June 1, when there will be a host of events organised.

Councillor Isobel Bowler, Sheffield Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture, Sport and Leisure, said: “It’s incredibly exciting to think this much-loved tradition of touring with the Commonwealth baton before the games will be making its mark on Sheffield.

“We are really proud to be one of just 14 towns and cities across England to receive it.

“The baton is hugely symbolic throughout the Commonwealth nations and I’m sure it will help inspire people of all ages and abilities to try out a new sport or activity, just as the Olympic and Paralympic flames did when they lit up Sheffield’s streets in 2012.

“This is our opportunity to cheer on Team England and enjoy the excitement and anticipation in the run up to the games. I’m sure the relay will also mark the start of a great summer of sport in Sheffield with the second stage of the Tour de France, the British Gas ASA Diving and Youth Swimming Championships and Bupa Great Yorkshire Run set to follow.”

Commonwealth Games England President Dame Kelly Holmes, who won Commonwealth Gold in Manchester in 2002, said: “When Sheffield receives the baton I am sure they are going to put on some wonderful events.

“We are the largest nation of the seven competing in the Commonwealth Games - we are going to have some great athletes taking part.”