Queen's Baton Relay set to tour Powys in September


Jonny Drury

Three Powys schools will play host to the Queen’s Baton Relay in September as part of Commonwealth Day celebrations.

The Queen has set off her Gold Coast 2018 Relay from Buckingham Palace and Team Wales has now announced the route it will take in Wales.

In September, during its 388-day journey through the entire Commonwealth, in total the baton will cover 230,000 kilometres en route to its final destination – the Opening Ceremony of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games on April 4.

On Day two in Wales, the baton will come from Brecon to Rhayader, and will stop at Llanidloes High and Primary Schools, Ysgol Dafydd Llwyd in Newtown, and Welshpool, before it goes on to Mold’s Theatr Clwyd.

It will stop for photo opportunities along the way, and is part of a journey through every nation and territory within the commonwealth in the build-up to the opening ceremony.

Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Communications, Cllr Wynne Jones, said: “We are delighted to be welcoming the Queen’s Baton Relay to Powys once again.

“As the baton travels through the county, it’s an opportunity to celebrate our rich heritage, culture, beautiful landscapes and the Welsh language on an international stage.

“The Powys route will begin in Brecon, travel up to Rhayader for a public street event before stopping at Llanidloes high and primary schools and a private photo stop in Llandinam.

“It will then travel to the new Welsh-medium Ysgol Dafydd Llwyd in Newtown, before a final stop in the county at Welshpool.

“I hope having the Queen’s Baton in Powys will ignite pride in our county and Welsh athletes competing in the games. Plans are at an early stage but we look forward to putting on memorable activities to mark this exciting occasion.”

The games held in Cardiff in 1958 were the first to stage the relay, during which runners carried it through several English counties and all 13 Welsh counties on its journey to Cardiff.

The 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne were the first in which the baton visited every nation and territory within the Commonwealth and this tradition has been carried on at every Commonwealth Games since 2006.

Professor Nicola Phillips, Team Wales Chef de Mission for Gold Coast 2018, said: “We need the whole of Wales to cheer our athletes on now, as they continue along their road to Gold Coast and during the Games themselves, and we hope that the journey of the Queen’s Baton Relay throughout Wales will act as an invitation to the whole Nation to support our athletes and to engage, excite and inspire ahead of the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast.”

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