Excitement Builds for Birmingham 2022 Queen's Baton Relay
Excitement is building as South Tyneside gears up for the arrival of the Birmingham 2022 Queen's Baton Relay in the Borough this Friday (15 July).
Birmingham 2022 is hosting the 16th official Queen's Baton Relay - an epic journey which brings together and celebrates communities across the Commonwealth, during the build up to the Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony on 28 July.
South Tyneside is welcoming the Baton on Friday 15 July, as part of the Baton's two-day visit to the North East on 14-15 July.
The Baton will enter the Borough via Whitburn, heading north by convoy along The Leas to the New Crown Roundabout.
Local people are being encouraged to line the route along Sea Road in South Shields, from 8.20am, to see the Baton carried the rest of the way to Harbour Drive North at Littlehaven.
Councillor Joan Atkinson, Deputy Leader of South Tyneside Council, with responsibility for Culture, Leisure and the Visitor Economy, said: "We're very looking forward to welcoming the Queen's Baton Relay to South Tyneside.
"We are incredibly proud to be one of the many communities chosen to host the Baton with people encourages to come along and cheer it on as part the final stretch of its journey to the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
"We are also delighted that some members of our own community will be among those carrying the Baton along our stunning seafront. They join the thousands of people who have come before them to carry the Baton across Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Caribbean in recognition of the positive impact they have made in their communities. What a very special moment it will be for them."
The official Batonbearers have been chosen for their inspiring backgrounds and stories, including those who were nominated in recognition of their contribution to their local community, whether that be in sport, education, the arts, culture or charity.
Community champion Angie Comerford is one of the thousands of inspirational people chosen to be a Batonbearer.
Angie, aged 45, is co-founder of Hebburn Helps community food bank and alongside her army of volunteers supports struggling families and individuals across the Borough with anything from food and school holiday lunches to preloved toys, uniforms and donated household items.
During the coronavirus pandemic, the charity delivered emergency food parcels, hot meals to elderly and vulnerable residents and packed lunches to children who would otherwise have gone without a meal due to school closures.
As well as providing crisis support and a one-stop-shop for people in their time of need, Angie does a great deal of work raising funds and awareness of mental health.
On being chosen as a Batonbearer, Angie said: "Every time I stop and think about it, I can't quite believe it.
"To think that I have been chosen among all those other inspirational people and to know that the Baton will have been passed to so many people around the word, it's amazing - it doesn't seem real.
"To say it's an honour is an understatement. I'm so grateful and feel so lucky to get to have this incredible experience."
The South Tyneside leg of the Queen's Baton Relay will involve nine Batonbearers.
Phil Batty, Director of Ceremonies, Culture & Queen's Baton Relay, said: "The Queen's Baton Relay is far more than just a journey. It symbolises connecting people from every corner of the Commonwealth, celebrates Batonbearers who take on challenges and marks the countdown to the biggest sporting event in West Midlands history."
A road closure will be in place along Sea Road and River Drive for the duration of the Queen's Baton Relay along South Shields seafront until around 9am.
For further information about the Birmingham 2022 Queen's Baton Relay visit www.birmingham2022.com/qbr