Sheffield’s sporting heroes will be encouraging everyone to ‘be part of the team’ in the run up to the Commonwealth Games when the Queen’s Baton Relay comes to the city as part of a nationwide tour.
Sheffield is one of just 14 English towns and cities selected to host the Queen’s Baton Relay in June and will be the curtain-raiser to the 20th Commonwealth Games, which will take place in Glasgow between 23 July and 3 August 2014.
The iconic baton will come to Sheffield on 1 June with events across the city to encourage everyone to get behind Team England and to celebrate the wealth of sporting opportunities on offer in Sheffield.
Councillor Isobel Bowler, Cabinet Member for Culture, Sport and Leisure at Sheffield City Council, 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.”
By the time of its arrival in Sheffield, 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 which will be read out at the opening ceremony of the games.
The Queen’s Baton Relay is England is supported with National Lottery funding from Sport England. Its visit to England is the last international leg of the relay before the baton enters Scotland.
Commonwealth Games England President Dame Kelly Holmes, who won Commonwealth Gold in Manchester in 2002, said:
“Sheffield has a huge sporting tradition and I know that public here will support the English athletes at the games 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 at QBR events.”
The 2014 Commonwealth Games will feature teams from 70 Commonwealth countries competing in 17 sports across 14 venues. Sporting events will include rugby sevens, weightlifting, gymnastics, cycling, hockey and boxing.
England has taken part in every games, which are held every four years, since 1930 in which we won 61 medals. Our medal haul currently stands at 1,383.