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29 January 2014, 18:31 | Updated: 29 January 2014, 18:38
The Queen's Baton Relay which is the torch to mark the start of this year's Commonwealth Games is coming to Suffolk.
It's known as the Queen’s Baton Relay (QBR) and will visit the county as part of its international journey to the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
The Baton will arrive in Suffolk on Monday 9 June, midway through its two-week tour of the country aimed at drumming up support for Team England and celebrating sport as it goes. During the Baton’s day in our region, it will be taken to a number of locations across Suffolk to celebrate the Commonwealth Games, Team England and promote participation in sport.
Its journey through Suffolk will begin with a breakfast event on Lowestoft seafront. It will then travel to Newmarket for a late morning, mass participation, community relay before moving on to Bury St Edmunds where, in the early afternoon, it will visit a Super 8’s schools athletics competition.
The focus will then shift from Bury St Edmunds to Ipswich where the Baton will first visit Northgate Sports Centre for a QuadKids schools athletics event before moving on to Christchurch Park where a fun, celebratory, mass participation sports event will take place.
More details about the local events will be announced in the coming weeks. Councillor Alan Murray, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for health and adult care, said: “The fact that Suffolk has been chosen to host the Queen’s Baton Relay is proof positive of our ability to hold successful major events and celebrate sport. This is a great opportunity for Suffolk to show its support for Team England and by inspiring people to play more sport, help Suffolk on its journey to being the most active county in England.”
Councillor Colin Law, Waveney District Council’s leader, said: "I am absolutely delighted that the Queens Baton Relay is coming to Lowestoft and I really hope we will get a repeat of the amazing scenes we enjoyed during the Olympic Torch relay in 2012. The people of the town did us proud that day and more of the same would be wonderful. Having also recently staged a leg of the Tour of Britain, it is clear that Lowestoft is a popular choice for major national events like this and our communities should be really proud of the great impression they give to organisers every time."
Councillor Warwick Hirst, Forest Heath District Council’s cabinet member for health, leisure and culture, said: “I am delighted that the Queen’s Baton is coming to Newmarket, to the historic Rowley Mile Racecourse, where it can be enjoyed by many at the mass participation community relay. It will be a memorable day and I hope will inspire all those involved to get the most out of their lives by keeping active.”
Councillor Sara Mildmay White, St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s cabinet member for health, wellbeing and sport, said:
“I am thrilled that the Queen’s Baton will be coming to the Super 8s athletics competition in Bury St Edmunds, to inspire the town and the borough. The message the Baton and the Commonwealth Games bring is relevant to every one of us: joining in and being active benefits you, your community and even your nation.”
Councillor David Ellesmere, Ipswich Borough Council’s leader, said:"We are very proud as the county town to have been selected to host the Suffolk finale of the Commonwealth Games Queen's Baton here in Ipswich. This is becoming a tradition in Ipswich, after the huge attendance at the Olympic Torch Relay in 2012, and I am sure there will be a huge turn-out this summer."
Commonwealth Games England President Dame Kelly Holmes, who won Commonwealth Gold in Manchester in 2002, said: “Suffolk has a huge sporting tradition and I know that people 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 Queen's Baton Relay is the traditional curtain-raiser to the Commonwealth Games. By the time of its arrival in England, it 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 that will be read out at the Opening Ceremony of the Glasgow Games.