Queen’s Baton Relay passes colourfully through Hinxton and Cambridge
The Queen’s Baton Relay made its way through Cambridge with the baton going through the Wellcome Genome Campus and the centre of Cambridge on its way to Birmingham for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
The relay began in October 2021, with Her Majesty The Queen placing her message to the Commonwealth into the baton, to be read when the event begins in Birmingham’s Aston Hall on July 28, the day of the Games’s opening ceremony. The Cambridge link is part of a 294-day long journey to every corner of the Commonwealth which will take in 72 nations and territories.
Birmingham 2022 organisers say the baton’s journey “will ignite hope, solidarity and collaboration, as it connects communities embraces unique cultures and shares inspirational stories”.
That wish certainly came true at Wellcome Sanger Institute on Wellcome Genome Campus in Hinxton, where a colourful parade enjoyed the arrival of the baton in warm sunshine.
Dr Martin Dougherty, chief operating officer of the Wellcome Sanger Institute and Wellcome Genome Campus, said: “Throughout the day we had some great entertainment acts, local food trucks and lots of activities for people to get involved in. We also had a procession of flags carried by local children to welcome the Queen’s baton and baton bearers onto campus. We hope everyone had a wonderful day celebrating in the sunshine, with special thanks to the four baton bearers who joined us and everything they do for their community.
“It was a privilege to host the Queen’s Baton Relay ahead of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. Thank you to all who helped organise the event along with everyone who came to join us for a fantastic day celebrating science and sport.”
The baton left the world-famous genome campus and headed for Cambridge, where it boarded a punt on Quayside Bridge Street before arriving at Jesus Green at around 5pm during the Cambridge Pride event.
One of the eight baton bearers for the Cambridge section was Antoinette Nestor, who works at the Centre for Climate Repair and set up her own toy swap/repair service for used toys, A Toy’s Life And Beyond, in 2018.
Speaking of the 200m jog, Antoinette told the Cambridge Independent: “A friend of mine put me forward, she nominated me because of the work I’ve done for the community, she said I should be there.
“The baton was handed to me by Sarah Kemp and I handed it to someone who had had a skiing accident which left him wheelchair-bound. There were people lining route cheering, it was quite nice – you feel part of something bigger, the community and the history behind the Commonwealth Games, and the 72 countries.
“The baton had a sensor so they could track your heart rate and a built-in camera, it can see everything 360 degrees, and the message from the Queen to be read at the Games – it’s a secret until the Games start.
“The deputy mayor, Cllr Jenny Gawthrope Wood, gave a speech on Jesus Green, they had a stage there for Pride Day and she was on stage and welcomed everybody and introduced the baton.”
The baton had returned to England on July 4 to commence a 25-day tour of the regions with activities and notable visits throughout. Travelling via land, air and sea, more than 180 communities in England will experience the Queen’s baton on a route spanning 2,500 miles.
Don’t miss our two-page picture special in this week’s Cambridge Independent!