The Queen's Baton Relay comes to Winchester

5 Jul 2022

The Queen's Baton Relay (QBR) visits Winchester on Wednesday 6 July at the University of Winchester's Sports Stadium and Winchester Sport and Leisure Park at approximately 2pm. 

Winchester is one of six areas that has been selected within the Southeast region to take part in the Queen's Baton Relay for this year's upcoming Commonwealth Games. The University's high-profile athletic track, coupled with the new state-of-the-art sport and leisure park are key factors for Winchester having the opportunity to showcase the Baton.

The Queen's Baton Relay was launched on 7 October 2021 from Buckingham Palace, where Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II placed her message to the Commonwealth inside the Baton. The Baton then departed from Birmingham for a 254-day journey travelling through each Commonwealth nation and territory in Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas before returning to the UK, covering a total of 140,000 kilometres.

Winchester City Council, in partnership with Everyone Active and the University of Winchester, have organised a primary school Commonwealth Games sports festival. Over 100 pupils from selected local primary schools will take part in a range of commonwealth sports from 10am - 3pm on 6 July. When the Baton arrives on-site, children will have the opportunity to walk around the athletics track with the Baton. The Blue Apple Theatre will be performing a dance routine whilst the Baton is on its journey around the track.

From 1pm onwards, the public are invited to join a community picnic at the University of Winchester Sports Stadium grounds, with an opportunity for families to see the baton arrive.

Helen Thomas, Sports Facilities Development Manager at the University of Winchester, said: "The University of Winchester Sports Stadium is proud to be co-hosting the prestigious QBR and to be providing local primary school children access to our sports facilities, which might inspire them to take up one of the sports on offer."

Winchester is hosting two venues for the Baton within the district, with the next stop at Hambledon's Broadhalfpenny Down Cricket Ground at approximately 4pm. Winchester College will be playing against the Brigands who usually play on the ground. The Baton will be greeted, and the team will run around the outfield and then meet players and spectators at the monument and in the Bat and Ball pub.

Cllr Lucille Thomson, Winchester City Council's Cabinet Member for Business and Culture, said: "It is a huge honour for the Winchester district to be hosting the Queen's Relay Baton at two fantastic locations.

"We have invested a lot into improving the sports and leisure facilities for our local residents and we are honoured to have our district chosen twice in this showcase event for the Queen's Baton Relay.

"Local people are welcome to come along to both the University of Winchester Sports Stadium and Broadpenny Down Cricket Ground to witness a moment in history and cheer on the Queen's Baton Relay team as they arrive and take laps before moving on to the next leg of their international tour."

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