13.06.2014 - 27.06.2014
Day 14: Newcastle, Gateshead & Alnwick
THE NORTH EAST TO HOST THE FINAL DAY OF THE COMMONWELATH GAMES QUEEN’S BATON RELAY
The Queen’s Baton Relay will tour Newcastle, Gateshead and Alnwick on Friday 13 June, visiting local landmarks and acting as the centrepiece for events happening to celebrate the countdown to Glasgow 2014.
Two Batonbearers have been selected by Gateshead Council and Newcastle City Council in recognition of their contribution to sport and the community. They are:
Brendan Foster CBE, 66, from Hebburn, South Tyneside
Jonathan Edwards CBE, 47, originally from Windsor, Berkshire but now resides in Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne*
(* See notes to editors for biography)
The Batonbearers will carry the baton to a variety of events and activities to introduce the public to new sports, organised by Gateshead Council, Newcastle City Council and NewcastleGateshead Initiative.
The Queen’s Baton will start its journey at The Angel of the North, Gateshead, where the Mayor of Gateshead, Councillor Jack Graham and Mick Henry, Leader of Gateshead Council will join official Batonbearer, Brendan Foster CBE, to start the final day of the baton’s tour of England. The relay will then make its way to one of the region’s premier sporting venues, Gateshead International Stadium, where it will be the focal point of an event for local businesses, organised by NewcastleGateshead Initiative.
The next stop is Gateshead Millennium Bridge where Brendan Foster will pass on Batonbearer duties to fellow Commonwealth Games veteran, Jonathan Edwards CBE. The Lord Mayor of Newcastle will join the proceedings as the Queen’s Baton is passed from Gateshead to Newcastle.
Jonathan Edwards will lead the delegation to Newcastle Civic Centre, before the Queen’s Baton Relay team moves on to Walker Activity Dome, Newcastle. The community sports centre provides a wide range of sporting facilities for people of all ages and abilities.
The Queen’s Baton Relay will arrive in Alnwick at 1pm, visiting local landmarks and acting as the centrepiece for events happening to celebrate the countdown to Glasgow 2014.
The three Batonbearers have been selected by Northumberland stakeholders in recognition of their contribution to sport and the community. They are:
Shannon Tyler, 17, from Blyth, young volunteer
Zac Allin 16, from Prudhoe, athlete
Stephen Miller, 34, from Cramlington, Paralympic athlete
The Batonbearers will carry the baton to a variety of events and activities to introduce the public to new sports, organised by Northumberland County Council.
Staged within the walls of fabulous Alnwick Castle, the Baton Relay events provide an opportunity for people from across the County to come together to celebrate the journey of the Baton through the Commonwealth in distinctive Northumbrian style.
Between 10am and 3pm approximately 500 school children will take part in a range of Commonwealth sports, learn about the Commonwealth Games and can even try their hand at Quiddich as seen in Harry Potter!
The evening show will take place in the stunning surroundings of the castle between 6pm and 8pm. The free of charge ticketed show will take the audience on a journey through the 6 continents of the relay celebrating the Commonwealth and will feature live performances and a parade of Commonwealth flags.
Dame Kelly Holmes, President of Commonwealth Games England, said: “Our England Batonbearers are going to play a crucial part when the Queen’s Baton Relay arrives in England on May 31st.
“They have all been selected due to their passion for sport and the way in which they share this with their communities and look to get people involved and active.
“I’m encouraging everyone in NewcastleGateshead and Alnwick to get involved when the Queen’s Baton Relay comes to your city – find out what event is taking place and if you can be there then please go and cheer on your batonbearers and be part of the Team England send-off to Glasgow!”
The baton will have visited 63 of 70 Commonwealth nations and territories when it arrives in the British Isles on Sunday 10 May. Landing in Jersey, the baton then journeys through Guernsey, Isle of Man, embarks on a four-day tour of Northern Ireland and then spends a week in Wales. It will arrive in England on 31 May to begin the penultimate leg of the Queen’s Baton Relay in Manchester, visiting 16 different locations en route to its final destination through Scotland and the start of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
The XX Commonwealth Games takes place in Glasgow from 23rd July to 3rd August. Commonwealth Games England is sending a 400-strong team to compete across the 17 sports.
The Queen’s Baton Relay in England is supported with National Lottery funding from Sport England.
For more information, interview requests and details of media opportunities around the Queen’s Baton Relay please contact Anna Young at Run Communications: (M) 07799 064676 (E) firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to Editors
Jonathan David Edwards, CBE is a former British triple jumper. He is a former Olympic, World, Commonwealth and European champion, and has held the world record in the event since 1995.
Jonathan won the gold medal at the 2000 Olympic Games, and was appointed a CBE shortly afterwards. He also won golds at the 2001 World Championships and 2002 Commonwealth Games. At one point in 2002, Edwards held all the gold medals for the "four majors" (Olympic Games, World Championships, Commonwealth Games and European Championships). He retired after the 2003 World Championships as Great Britain's most successful medal winning athlete. Following his retirement as an athlete, Edwards has worked as a sports commentator and presenter for BBC television. He was a member of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games for the 2012 Games. He lives in Newcastle upon Tyne and often undertakes inspirational roles and visits to promote the area and also participation in sport.
Brendan Foster CBE
Brendan Foster CBE (born 12 January 1948 in Hebburn, County Durham, England) is a British former long-distance runner who founded the Great North Run. Foster's athletic career saw him compete in three Olympic Games for Britain, winning bronze in the 10,000 metres at the 1976 Montreal Olympics.
In 1974 he won a silver medal in the Commonwealth Games in Christchurch, before winning the European Championships 5,000m, beating Olympic champion Lasse Virén en route to Gold. In the same year he broke the 3,000m world record on his home track, Gateshead International Stadium with a time of 7:35.1 and won the BBC's prestigious Sports Personality of the Year award. He established his personal best in the 10,000m with a time of 27:30.3 run at Crystal Palace on 23 June 1978, while also winning 10,000m Gold at the 1978 Commonwealth Games in Edmonton. Foster was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 1976.
From Blyth, Northumberland Shannon Tyler is part of the Bringing the Games Closer programme and is currently part of the Young Volunteer group for 2013/14, she is also a Sport Maker and helping the School Games Network by volunteering in schools across Blyth. Shannon also took part in the Northumberland National Citizen Service programme in 2013 giving up most of her summer holidays to support the programme and then gave back more time to organise and deliver a community event in August.
Zac Allin is a canoe slalom athlete from Prudhoe, he races in the Premier division and is ranked 15th in Britain and part of the Junior British team. He is currently one of the youngest people in the Premier Division aged of 15 and am supported by Active Northumberland, Double Dutch Sander, Hydrasports, Athena Leadership and management and I am a member of Tees Active Sports Academy. He paddled his first river at the age of 4 and he loves every aspect and discipline of the sport: Slalom, White water racing, play boating and river running.
From Cramlington, Stephen Miller has represented Great Britain for over 15 years, competing in 5 Paralympic Games, 4 World Championships and 3 European Championships - so far winning 25 international medals. He was undefeated in all competitions until 2005. Stephen won gold at both Sydney and Athens Paralympics, then missing out on a gold at the Beijing Paralympics due to a classification error, coming away with silver. At London 2012 he was male athletics team captain but underperformed due to a serious hip injury. He now has a new hip and is in training for the 2016 Rio Paralympics.
From the Empire School of Boxing in Blyth, Les is a great ambassador and dedicates much of his time to the boxing club and particularly the development of young people. The Empire School of Boxing was formed in 1992 by Les and his wife Margaret. Les is an Advanced ABA Coach and has represented the ABAE at the highest levels around the world. The club is a non-profit, voluntary organisation. They take exceptional pride in the outstanding young people they develop and are also committed to playing an active role in helping members of the local community.
Commonwealth Games England
Commonwealth Games England (CGE) leads and manages the participation of Team England at the Commonwealth Games and Commonwealth Youth Games. We are affiliated to the Commonwealth Games Federation and work closely with the various sports’ National Governing Bodies (NGBs), funding partners such as Sport England, our commercial sponsors and Organising Committees. Our purpose is to help develop athletes and their sports, and to achieve success at Games-time.