Liverpool’s Batonbearers announced
Two Olympians, a Special Olympics champion and five community heroes will take part in the Queen’s Baton Relay when it arrives in Liverpool next week.
On Monday 18 July the city will welcome the relay which aims to bring together communities during the build up to the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, which starts with the Opening Ceremony on the 28 July.
Here are Liverpool’s Batonbearers, as well as the reasons they have been selected:
- Beth Tweddle – The former Olympic gymnast, Commonwealth title holder and three-times World Champion now dedicates her time to ensuring thousands of children have access to sport and specialist coaching in schools.
- Tom Bosworth – A double Olympian race walker and British Champion, Tom recently announced that he will retire after the Birmingham Games. He is Team GB’s first openly gay track and field athlete and is a huge advocate for mental health.
- Shauna Hogan – A double silver Special Olympics swimming medallist, Shauna is also an actor, swimwear model and motivational speaker to young people, talking about her life and Down’s syndrome.
- Bridget Griffin – Working alongside the British Equestrian Federation, Bridget set up Park Palace Ponies which provides horse riding opportunities for inner-city, disadvantaged children. Working with 5,500 youngsters, her work brings together communities and creates opportunities for a wide range of people.
- Danny De Brabander – Diagnosed with terminal bowel cancer, Danny is defying the odds and is determined to help others. He has raised more than £90,000 for local charities, works with vulnerable people and their families and is dedicated to raising awareness of bowel cancer.
- Fiona Hanik – The organiser of Run In Wirral, Fiona is a welcoming face to all, supporting blind runners, those who are bereaved, or those living with mental health issues, as well as helping people who want to get active again post-surgery. Her support group in a lifeline for many.
- Sarah Kearney – An inspirational local coach and athlete, Sarah has developed a running programme which works with more than 120 athletes – with an emphasis on encouraging women to take up the sport. In 2021, she teamed up with her daughter and they set a new half-marathon world record.
- Rainbow Mbuangi – A professional athlete who plays blind football for Merseyside FC, Rainbow is also a respected ambassador who travels to schools across the region to showcase how his disability isn’t a barrier for him.
At 8am on Monday, Beth will kick-off Liverpool’s leg of the relay which will start at the Pier Head, near the Beatles statue. Each Batonbearer will then travel on foot through the Albert Dock towards Keel Wharf.
From Keel Wharf, a short car journey, will take the remaining Batonbearers to Princes Avenue where it will be carried along the avenue, to Princes Park where a number of school children will welcome them.
The Batonbearers were nominated due to their sporting achievements and/or their vital contribution to their local area.
It will then leave the city for its next location – Newcastle-under-Lyme.
The baton is made from copper, aluminium and steel and features a platinum strand in homage to The Queen in her Platinum Jubilee year. It is also equipped with cutting-edge technology; 360-degree camera, heart rate monitor, atmospheric sensors and LED lighting.
Please note, the Batonbearers are subject to change and more people maybe added to Liverpool’s line-up. Also, anyone wishing to line the route is advised that Monday is expected to be very warm, so please bring water, wear a hat and sunblock.
Liverpool’s Cabinet Member for Culture and Visitor Economy, Councillor Harry Doyle, said:
“It’s a privilege to be part of the build up to the Commonwealth Games, and even though the baton is only with us for a short time, as always we will give it a warm Liverpool welcome.
“I encourage people to line the route and cheer on our amazing Batonbearers – we hope their achievements will inspire people young and old to get involved in sport and activity, and you never know, we may uncover a future sporting champion!”
Beth Tweddle MBE, said:
“When I was told I had been nominated to be part of the Queen’s Baton Relay I was over the moon!
“As a former competitor in the Games, it’s a huge honour to be a Commonwealth Batonbearer and it makes it even more special that it comes in the year Liverpool is hosting the World Gymnastics Championships 2022 which I’m a proud ambassador for.
“I’m delighted to be part of any event that raises the profile of sport and hope my story inspires future generations, creating a real legacy through sports participation and having a positive impact on people’s health and wellbeing.”
Phil Batty, Director of Ceremonies, Culture & Queen’s Baton Relay, said:
“The Queen’s Baton Relay is far more than just a journey. It symbolises connecting people from every corner of the Commonwealth, celebrates Batonbearers who take on challenges, and marks the countdown the biggest sporting event in West Midlands history. We hope that communities across the country join the excitement, attend events near them, line the streets to cheer on our incredible Batonbearers and celebrate the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.”
Commonwealth Games Federation President Dame Louise Martin DBE said:
“The Queen’s Baton Relay symbolises hope, solidarity and collaboration across the Commonwealth at a time when it is needed most. It continues to inspire people wherever it goes and creates huge excitement for Birmingham 2022 as it journeys towards the Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony on July 28.”