Queen’s Baton Relay
Leeds Olympic gold medallists Alistair and Jonny Brownlee will be joined by local singing stars Class Dynamix as the city celebrates welcoming the Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay next week.
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Leeds Olympic gold medallists Brownlee brothers and Class Dynamix to mark Queen’s Baton Relay visit to Leeds

Queen’s Baton Relay coming to Leeds Dock and city centre on Tuesday 12 July.

Leeds Olympic gold medallists Alistair and Jonny Brownlee will be joined by local singing stars Class Dynamix as the city celebrates welcoming the Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay next week. Arriving in late afternoon on Tuesday 12 July, the Baton will pass through Leeds Dock before heading along the famous streets of the city centre ending on Millennium Square where a special celebration event will take place.

After travelling around the Commonwealth, the Baton is now on its final journey around the country leading up to the opening ceremony of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games at the end of this month (28 July). The Baton, which contains a message to the Commonwealth within it from Her Majesty The Queen, has been passed on its epic journey by thousands of Batonbearers, who have been nominated and chosen for the honour due to their inspiring backgrounds and stories.

The Baton’s route through Leeds begins at Leeds Dock, with the celebration seeing a range of free family and sports taster events and activities taking place from 4pm. These include flag-making, table tennis, mini-tennis, paddle-boarding, athletics on a pop-up track, guided walking and running, with parking being free on the streets around Leeds Dock. The Baton will arrive at Leeds Dock from 5:25pm before leaving at approximately 5:45pm heading for the city centre. It will then move on to The Headrow outside Leeds Art Gallery shortly after 6pm, before following a route along Park Row, City Square, Boar Lane, Briggate, The Headrow and Cookridge Street before arriving at its final destination on the stage on Millennium Square.

The public are invited and encouraged to line the route, creating the renowned Leeds atmosphere cheering on the Batonbearers as they pass by. These include local community representatives and sports stars including Alistair and Jonny Brownlee, who will be the final two Batonbearers taking the Baton onto Millennium Square to be welcomed by the Lord Mayor of Leeds Councillor Robert W. Gettings.

A stage event will then follow hosted by BBC Radio Leeds presenter Richard Stead, with the finale being a special performance by the pupils of Windmill Primary School who make up Class Dynamix, the Leeds choir who reached the semi-finals of Britain’s Got Talent in 2020. They will be joined on stage by 100 local schoolchildren to perform three songs, including a live performance of the specially commissioned ‘Light Up Leeds’ as part of the tenth anniversary of Child Friendly Leeds this year.

Pre and closing entertainment on Millennium Square will also be provided from 6pm by local contemporary band ‘Back Chat Brass’ performing their funky brassy beats to get the carnival atmosphere going. The list of Leeds Batonbearers is as follows: Sneha Daga, Daniel Walker, Peter McGouran, Rifhat Malik, Katy Hopkinson, Jonathan Brownlee and Alistair Brownlee.

Among those is 16-year-old Sneha Daga from Leeds, who said:

“I was nominated due to my charity work and contribution to the community. This includes donating 20 inches of my hair, and climbing Mount Snowdon four times to promote organ donation. I can’t wait for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hold the Baton and I’m really looking forward to it!”

Another is Peter McGouran from Wetherby, who said:

“I was nominated as a Batonbearer due to my success as a transplant athlete – I won seven world gold medals, representing Great Britain and Northern Ireland. I am proud and very excited to represent the transplant community and promote the importance of organ donation. The ‘Gift of Life’ transformed my life, and I am forever grateful to all donor families who make this possible. This run is for them.”

Leeds Batonbearer Rifhat Malik MBE said:

“I am really honoured to have been selected as a Batonbearer for my work in the community over the past twenty years and it is a real privilege to be performing the role as a female from an ethnic minority community background. Having been described as a role model I hope my selection will encourage other individuals to believe that they too can achieve things they aspire to.”

Leeds Batonbearer Katy Hopkinson said:

“I was nominated due to my charity fundraising, shaving my head for Macmillan Cancer support. I raised £3,400 over several months. I was also nominated due to my contribution to sport as part of the Swillington Scorpions Rounders team. It is a great privilege representing my home town of Leeds in the Baton relay. I will be attending the Games in August as a spectator so it will be a very proud moment being involved in the lead up to the Games as part of the Queen’s Baton Relay.”

Lord Mayor of Leeds Councillor Robert W. Gettings said:

“Having the Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay coming to Leeds will be a great event for everyone to enjoy, and I very much look forward to welcoming it onto the stage on Millennium Square before hearing Class Dynamix and their special performance. I would encourage everyone who can to line the route and help celebrate the Baton’s visit to Leeds.”

Leader of Leeds City Council Councillor James Lewis said:

“We are delighted to be welcoming the Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay to Leeds and we are very much looking forward to its arrival. We know people in Leeds really enjoy events like this, so it would be great to see people of all ages lining the route generating that legendary Leeds atmosphere and making for another memorable event in our city.”

The Queen’s Baton Relay: Since its inaugural appearance at the Cardiff 1958 Commonwealth Games, the Queen’s Baton Relay has been a tradition for the Commonwealth Games. The Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay began at Buckingham Palace on 7 October 2021, when The Queen placed Her Message to the Commonwealth into the Baton and passed it to four-time Paralympic gold medallist Kadeena Cox OBE, who had the honour of being the first of thousands of Batonbearers to carry the Baton. Since then, the Baton has visited Commonwealth nations and territories in Europe, Africa, Oceania.

The Queen’s Baton for Birmingham 2022 was created in a West Midlands collaboration that fused art, technology and science. Made from copper, aluminium and steel, the Baton also 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. For more information on the Queen’s Baton Relay, visit www.birmingham2022.com For more information on Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, please contact Rose Jackson, Communications Manager via rose.jackson@birmingham2022.com

About the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games: The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, which will be held from 28 July until 8 August 2022, will be a once in a lifetime opportunity to put the city, the region, and its people on the global stage. The Games is already proving to be a catalyst for transformation across the West Midlands, attracting new investment and funding, creating jobs and apprenticeships for local people and new opportunities for local businesses, as well as accelerating projects that will ensure the region is ready to host a fantastic sports and cultural celebration.

Birmingham 2022 will be the Games for everyone, bringing people together from across Birmingham and the region, to provide a warm welcome to millions of visitors during the summer of 2022. Find out more at www.birmingham2022.com

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