Commonwealth Games: Queen's Baton Relay set for Cambridgeshire visit
- Credit: Birmingham 2022
To mark this year's Commonwealth Games, the Queen's Baton Relay will pass through Cambridgeshire on its England tour.
This year's Baton - which celebrates the strength and fortitude of women across the Commonwealth - set off on an international tour in October and is due to travel through the East of England on July 8 and 9.
As part of the relay, the Baton will stop at Cambridgeshire's Wellcome Genome Campus, where Dr Martin Dougherty, Wellcome Sanger's chief operating officer, promises a "jam-packed day that celebrates science and sport".
Dr Dougherty said: "It is truly an honour to host the Queen’s Baton Relay ahead of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
"We are excited that the Wellcome Genome Campus has been chosen as a venue, and this is a fantastic opportunity to invite people from the community, school children and our staff to come together."
The Wellcome Sanger Institute was part of the Human Genome Project, which created and published the first draft of a human "genome" - the genetic instructions which allow people to grow and develop.
Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, the team at the Genome Campus - near the M11 at Hinxton - tracked new Covid-19 variants to understand how the pandemic was spreading.
Dr Dougherty added: "Our event hopes to bring people together after the difficulties of the last two years for a day of festivities, showcasing local talent, entertainment and food, and the work we do here at the campus."
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The relay began in London on October 7, 2021, when Queen Elizabeth II handed the Baton to Paralympic gold-medal winning athlete Kadeena Cox.
Since then, the Baton has travelled through countries in Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceania and South America.
It will arrive in the East of England on Friday, July 8, when the relay will pass through parts of south Essex, Luton and Hemel Hempstead.
On Saturday, July 9, the relay will take in King's Lynn, Great Yarmouth and Bury St Edmunds before arriving in Hinxton.
After visiting the Wellcome Genome Campus, the day's event will end in Cambridge city centre.
Along the way, batonbearers with "inspirational" stories and achievements will walk, run, ride or wheel through cities and towns - cheered on by neighbours, friends and spectators.
Dame Louise Martin, Commonwealth Games Federation president, said: "The Queen’s Baton Relay symbolises hope, solidarity and collaboration across the Commonwealth at a time when it is needed most."
The Commonwealth Games take place in Birmingham, starting on Thursday, July 28.
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said: "The final leg of the Queen’s Baton Relay enables communities the length and breadth of England to experience the excitement around Birmingham 2022 before the Baton lands in Birmingham to take centre stage at the Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony on July 28.
"What’s also very special is the role played by thousands of batonbearers - each with inspiring backgrounds – who will carry the Baton on its journey through England after being put forward as a result of their contribution to their local communities.
"I congratulate all of them and look forward to seeing them in action along the route."
Ian Reid, chief executive of Birmingham 2022, said: "Whilst the Baton has been travelling across the Commonwealth, we have worked closely with local authorities in England to devise a route that engages with hundreds of communities.
"It passes sport venues, historic sites, local schools and areas of outstanding natural beauty.
"Yet the Queen’s Baton Relay is far more than just a journey. It symbolises connecting people from every corner of the Commonwealth.
"It celebrates batonbearers who take on challenges, and marks the countdown to the biggest sporting event in West Midlands history.
"We hope that communities across the country join the excitement, attend events near them, line the streets to cheer on our incredible batonbearers and celebrate the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games."
The route is subject to last-minute change, organisers warned.