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Commonwealth Games Baton comes to Ryde

This event highlights how Ryde is becoming the centre of a range of activities over the Summer season.

Island civic leaders, and athletes from the Island Games squad, gathered in Ryde to greet the Queen’s Baton on its tour around the country before arriving in Birmingham for the start of the Commonwealth Games on 28 July.    

On each leg of the journey a Queen’s Baton Bearer is chosen.

The Isle of Wight’s own Baton Bearer was Nicholas Earley, an inspirational young man who survived serious illness and went on to successfully cycle across Britain raising thousands for charity.

Nicholas brought the Queen’s Baton to the Island on board a special Hovertravel flight.

He was greeted by civic leaders, friends, family and well-wishers from around the Island who applauded as the young baton bearer came down the hovercraft steps holding the specially-designed baton.  

Chair of the Isle of Wight Council, Councillor Claire Critchison, gave an address to mark the arrival of the baton bearer.

She said:  “I’d like to to welcome the Queen’s Baton to the Isle of Wight, on its journey around the world to the games in Birmingham.

“I am very pleased to welcome Queens’ Baton Bearer Nicholas Earley, and thank him for volunteering in this role.

“The Island is proud to be represented at the Commonwealth Games by champion discus thrower Nick Percy, a Bonchurch man,  and we are joined today by some of our competitors for the Island Games, taking place next year in Guernsey. 

“I thank Bob Seely our MP for his efforts to help get the baton to the Island; and Hovertravel for assisting with a special service to get our baton bearer safely here for us to meet him.”

Bob Seely MP said: “I’m absolutely delighted our bid to bring the Queen’s Baton to the Isle of Wight has been successful.

“I would like to thank the organisers of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games for including the Island in the baton’s journey and for recognising the Island’s place in the Commonwealth.

“There is an appetite for sport here – we have some very talented sportsmen and sportswomen competing at an international level, and, later this year, the Island will host the final leg of the UK’s most prestigious cycle race – the Tour of Britain.

“I hope both of these events will positively impact on the lives of our young people, inspiring them to follow their dreams.”

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