Video/gallery: Hundreds of children welcome Queen’s Commonwealth Games Baton in Newmarket and Bury St Edmunds
PUBLISHED: 17:33 09 June 2014 | UPDATED: 12:01 10 June 2014
The Queen’s Baton has been carried into the athletics arena in Bury St Edmunds to the cheers of hundreds of children as it continues its journey to the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
Pupils from Bury St Edmunds primary schools made a guard of honour for English cricketer Lilly Reynolds as she made her way onto the track with the baton.
Before arriving in Bury, the baton was carried into the Rowley Mile Racecourse in Newmarket by Commonwealth Games race walking gold medallist Ron Wallwork and then handed over to jockey Ryan Moore.
Today at the athletics track at Bury St Edmunds leisure centre about 400 youngsters were taking part in the annual Super8 athletics competition for schoolchildren aged 11 to 13.
Gymnast Beth Tweddle, who was at the event as an ambassador for Team England, said: “There was a buzz created after the London Olympics and obviously the Commonwealth Games has been an amazing way to keep that buzz going, and hopefully it will inspire at least one child to take sport further.”
Mayor of St Edmundsbury, councillor Robert Everitt, said: “I’m just very pleased yet another sporting event has come to Bury St Edmunds on top of all the other activities we have had of late.”
Councillor Sarah Stamp, cabinet member for sport at St Edmundsbury Borough Council, said: “Health and wellbeing is on the agenda; it’s a really important part of the council’s work.
“It’s another good opportunity to promote it and highlight the health benefits and to see west Suffolk and Bury St Edmunds on the map by being involved in such a prestigious event.”
At the Rowley Mile Racecourse about 500 schoolchildren took part in a festival of sport, where they could try activities such as hockey and climbing, before a relay, kicked off by Mr Wallwork, 73, got under way.
Mr Wallwork said it was a “tremendous privilege” to carry the baton to his home town of Newmarket.
Caroline May, whose daughter Emma May of Fairstead House School in Newmarket was taking part in the event, said: “It’s an important thing for them [children] to be part of the [build up to the] Commonwealth Games.
“Children learn about it better because they are taking part.”