Hundreds flock to see the Queen's Baton relay arrive in Mold

Reporter:

Amy Sargeson

Residents and community leaders were delighted to host the Queen’s Baton relay in Flintshire on its journey to Australia.

Theatr Clwyd at Mold yesterday welcomed the 2018 Commonwealth Games Baton on its three-day Welsh tour.

It was the only theatre in Wales to be visited on the journey which also included landmark destinations such as The Royal Mint in Llantrisant and Zip World in Blaenau Ffestiniog.

Hundreds of people gathered at the Mold arts hub throughout the day for sports events and the baton parade, involving schools from across Flintshire including Ysgol Gwynedd, Flint and St David’s Primary School in Mold.

The parade was choreographed by NEW Dance, a dance development organisation working in the Flintshire and Wrexham communities.

Colin Everett, chief executive of Flintshire Council, said: “This is different to the Olympic torch that went through the town centre last year. This is a celebration of schools, the community and its dignitaries.

“It has been very busy and there are lots of people taking part. We had football and golf in the afternoon.

“It’s great for the theatre to be a part of the baton exchange. It’s also particularly pleasing that this isn’t a sports venue.

“Our purpose is to reach out with community events, not solely artistic ones.

”This event is about culture, not just sport, to demonstrate we are a multi-purpose, accessible venue.”

The event saw celebrity guests arrive to welcome the baton including double Olympic taekwondo champion Jade Jones from Flint, Shotton’s Paralympian Beverley Jones, Commonwealth badminton athletes Caroline Harvey, of Gorsedd and Daniel Font, of Mold, and junior Commonwealth swimming athlete Elena Morgan from Flint.

Ian Bancroft, chief officer for organisational change at Flintshire Council, said: “We have a variety of baton bearers, not only from Flintshire. Eleanor Morgan has just returned from competing, so it's a chance for her extended family to be involved.

“We wish all the Flintshire and Welsh athletes the best at next year's Commonwealth Games.”

Tamara Harvey, artistic director for Theatr Clwyd, said: “This is a brilliant and huge honour as a theatre. It's a wonderful event to open up our doors and welcome people who wouldn’t necessarily come here previously.”

Later on in yesterday’s schedule of events, the baton took centre stage in the Anthony Hopkins Theatre at the arts hub for guests to take their own pictures with the famous article which carries a message from the Queen to the Commonwealth athletes.

It travels 388 days to its final destination – the Gold Coast in Australia.

Today it will make its way to Dolwyddelan Castle in Conwy. For the final leg of its North Wales journey, the baton will be taken out to sea via a lifeboat from Criccieth to Plas Heli Sailing Academy in Pwllheli.

Email:

amy.sargeson@nwn.co.uk

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