Hundreds of young people to celebrate sport in Leeds with the Queen's Baton Relay
Caption: L-R Batonbearers Laura Beardsmore, Ali Jawad, Nile Wilson and Norman Stephens outside Leeds Civic Hall.
Commonwealth Games England have today announced that hundreds of local young people will be getting involved in a series of exciting events when Leeds welcomes the Queen’s Baton Relay on June 12.
Throughout the day the baton will be visit a number of events, organised by Leeds City Council, where it will be carried by local community heroes nominated for their contributions to sports, coaching, education and the community in Leeds.
The Queen's Baton will begin its activity-packed day at Headingley Carnegie Stadium at 9.30am, where it will be welcomed by pupils from high schools across Leeds.
As the first person to retain the Women’s Individual Randori at the World Aikido Championships in Japan, Laura is one of the world’s foremost female martial artists.
The Queen's Baton Relay will then travel to the John Charles Centre for Sport where it will be carried by Nile Wilson, a member of Leeds Gymnastics Club.
Nile claimed four medals at the European Youth Olympics and a further six medals at the World School Games in Rio.
Along with Nile there will be a further three baton bearers at the event.
Sophie Taylor will be representing Leeds Swimming Training Scheme and City of Leeds Swimming Club.
Sophie continued to make waves in the pool with some outstanding performances. Winning three bronze medals at the British Senior Championships, she also broke the British junior record in the 100m breaststroke.
But the best was yet to come. In winning a silver medal at the World Youth Championships in Dubai, she set a new British senior record – elevating her to 13th in the world in the process.
Also carrying the baton will be Ali Jawad, who has been nominated for his extraordinary talent in the sport of Paralympic Weightlifting.
Charlotte Sansome, who has done some phenomenal work developing hockey in Leeds, will also be carrying the baton.
Charlotte is Leeds University Hockey Club’s first ever community secretary – a position that has seen her transform the club’s relationship with the local area.
As well as hugely increasing the levels of charitable fundraising by university sports clubs, she has also established links with local primary schools, offering hockey taster sessions and organising a schools tournament.
The event at the John Charles Centre will also see around 1,300 children from 80 schools trying their hand at a number of Commonwealth sports.
The baton will finish its trip to Leeds with a special celebration of the city’s athletes, coaches and volunteers at Leeds Civic Hall.
The prestigious evening event will recognise the important contribution that members of Leeds’ sporting community have made to the city.
Norman Stephens, who for 35 years has given people throughout Yorkshire the opportunity to experience sailing via his Sail Free charity, will carry the baton to the event.
With a particular focus on children and adults with disabilities, his tireless work at Otley Sailing Club has been recognised nationally with the Royal Yachting Association making the club a centre of excellence for their Sailability initiative.
Kelly Holmes, president of Commonwealth Games England, said:
“I’m encouraging everyone in Leeds to get involved when the Queen’s Baton Relay comes Leeds. Leeds will be hosting an incredible celebration of sport on June 12 and everyone can join in.
"If you can be there then please go and give sport a go, cheer your inspirational baton bearers and be part of the Team England send-off to Glasgow.”
“We’re really looking forward to welcoming the Queen’s Baton to Leeds and I’m sure it will be a really exciting and memorable day.
“The visit also means we can celebrate the accomplishments of some of our sports stars who play such an important role in making Leeds such a proud sporting city.”
Notes to Editors
- Also email or call Ben Hurley with interview or other requests in advance of the day.
- The Queen’s Baton Relay in England is funded by Sport England and the National Lottery.