THe Queen’s Baton Relay – 7th July 2022
The Queen’s Baton Relay arrived in Folkestone on 7th July 2022. The 16th official Queen’s Baton Relay started its journey on 7th October 2021. Visiting all 72 nations and territories of the Commonwealth, the Baton will arrive in Birmingham for the start of the Commonwealth Games on 28th July 2022.
The Baton arrived in Folkestone at 3pm, welcomed to the F51 Skatepark by The Band of The Brigade of Gurkhas. It then traveled down to the Harbour Arm and left the harbour on a boat bound for Deal and then Dover.
The newly-opened F51, Folkestone’s multi-storey skate park, will host the Baton in Folkestone. Dan Hulme, CEO of The Sports Trust says:
“We are incredibly honoured that F51 has been chosen by the Queen’s Baton Relay as a host venue for Folkestone, and to be able to welcome the baton to the world’s first multi-storey skate park. It is going to be transported by skateboard by our two young charity ambassadors, Tay Cunningham and Diggs English.
“The Commonwealth Games is an opportunity to recognise the inspirational and extraordinary moments which celebrate sport’s unique potential to create a positive and long-lasting impact on those who participate, compete, coach, officiate and spectate. At a local level, The Sports Trust aims to capture the magic of The Commonwealth Games and ensure that every person, regardless of age, background, or ability, can experience the positive benefits which sport can bring.”
Tay Cunningham and Diggs English are both 13 years old and took the baton around the first floor of the Skate Park. Both skaters showed their sporting skills by riding through the bowls whilst holding the baton. Accompanied by The Band of the Brigade of Gurkhas playing tunes such as Jerusalem and the theme from Star Wars, the skaters proved they are the new generation of Folkestone’s sports professionals.
folkestone’s harbour arm
The Baton left F51 and traveled down to Fountain Square. Here it was relayed across the Viaduct and transferred to runners waiting at stations along the Harbour Arm.
Jenny Rayner from the Lucy Rayner Foundation was ready to take her turn in Folkestone Harbour Station. “I’d been nominated by someone, I’m not sure who, and only realised when I received an email saying ‘you have been successful in being a part of the Queen’s Baton Relay’! The Lucy Rayner Foundation is a charity we set up after my daughter ended her life. It’s been running since 2013 and we work in schools, colleges, universities and workplaces, highlighting mental well-being.”
“At the time my daughter was going through her issues I didn’t know what to do or where to go for help. So now we have 50 counsellors, we don’t have a waiting list, and we support young people with their mental health. Every month we get at least 15 families who’ve been bereaved by suicide in the Surrey area alone. Our work is to raise awareness and help people identify what mental health really is. If they can see in themselves what’s good and what’s not, and understand the language people use, then it’s a step towards identifying when others need help.
“It’s an honour to be a part of the Queen’s Baton Relay on behalf of our charity. That one of our companies we work with nominated me is a testament to the work we do.”
The Queen’s Baton has traveled around the world on a 294 day trip that champions the individuality in humanity and celebrates bringing people together.