Pass the Baton! Commonwealth Games fever comes to Liverpool on Saturday
If you’re heading into the city centre tomorrow keep your eyes peeled for some athletic action as the city prepares to host the Queen’s Baton Relay.
The baton, which is carrying a special message from The Queen, is visiting Liverpool as part of a 388-day, 230,000km journey to the Gold Coast, which is hosting the 2018 Commonwealth Games. It will be escorted by a number of Liverpool’s well-known sporting faces including Commonwealth Gold medal gymnast Beth Tweddle, swimmers Steve Parry and Fran Halsall and sprint and relay athlete Anyika Onuora.
The baton will be at the following places:
The Liverpool 2018 Clipper Yacht, moored at Albert Dock, at 11am. It will be welcomed by founder of the Clipper Race Sir Robin Knox-Johnston and crew members representing several of the Commonwealth countries.
From 11.45am, the baton will head over to Chavasse Park at Liverpool ONE for a sports day with a difference, giving members of the public the chance to try out some Commonwealth sports, and even see how they perform on the specially-installed 60m athletics track.
No tourist can visit the city without the obligatory photo on the Pier Head in front of the Beatles statue. So once the baton has headed there for a quick picture at around 1.40pm, it will continue to tick off the ‘must do’ visitor list take a ride on a Mersey Ferry.
The final stop for the baton is Anfield stadium, where at half time during Liverpool’s first home game of the season against Crystal Palace, Beth Tweddle, Fran Halsall and Anyika Onuora will be some of the athletes who will carry the Baton around the pitch in front of 54,000 fans, with each running a length of the perimeter.
Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “It’s fantastic to have the Queen’s Baton Relay arrive in the city, and it is timely as our bid to host the 2022 Games is at a critical point. I’d encourage as many people as possible to head out, particularly to Chavasse Park, to give the relay team a warm welcome and let’s hope that when the baton makes its journey in 2021/2022, its final destination is Liverpool!”
In England, the baton has already been to London, RAF Brize Norton, Stoke Mandeville, Leamington Spa and Manchester. After Liverpool it will visit the city’s 2022 Commonwealth Games rival, Birmingham.