The spotlight is set to be on Northumberland once again as the Queen’s Baton Relay reaches the final leg of its international journey across the Commonwealth.
On Friday, June 13, by kind permission of the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland, the venue will host a celebration of the journey of the baton, marking its passing through Northumberland through to the host nation, Scotland.
Alnwick is one of less than 20 places within England to have the honour of receiving the Queen’s Baton Relay and the occasion will be marked with two special events.
During the day, schoolchildren in Years 8 and 9 from across the county will descend upon the grounds and Inner Bailey of the Castle to participate in a variety of sporting activities.
The evening ceremony will take the form of an outdoor staged event viewed by 2,500 people who successfully applied for free tickets.
A programme of live music, video footage and interviews will be weaved together in a special ceremony marking the presentation of the baton from Commonwealth Games England to the Commonwealth Games Federation, who will then take the baton forward on to its final journey through Scotland.
Prior to the start of the event there will be an opportunity for guests to view the unique baton. The baton contains a special message from The Queen to the Commonwealth, held in place by a commemorative gemstone and kept hidden inside the baton until it is read out at the opening ceremony of the Glasgow 2014 Games.
The event will celebrate the 70 countries and territories the baton will ultimately have travelled across, with a section focusing on the varied and vibrant sporting activities and locations contained within Northumberland as well tributes to the four Northumbrian batonbearers.
Dame Kelly Holmes, President of Commonwealth Games England, said: “I’m encouraging everyone in Northumberland to get excitedabout the Queen’s Baton Relay coming to the region. Alnwick will be hosting an incredible celebration of sport on the 13th of June. If you are fortunate enough to be there then please give a huge cheer to your inspirational Batonbearers and be a part of the Team England send-off to Glasgow.
“Alnwick Castle will provide the perfect setting for a full day of Commonwealth Games inspired activity for schoolchildren from across the County. The evening event, staged against the majestic backdrop of the castle and pastures, will undoubtedly be a memorable celebration of the Batons journey through the Commonwealth.” Nigel Walsh, Northumberland County Council.
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.