Queen's Baton presented by mayor as relay continues in Southampton

Daily Echo: Queen's Baton prestned by mayor as relay continues Queen's Baton prestned by mayor as relay continues

Crowds have arrived at the Guildhall to see the Mayor present the Queen's Baton Relay bearer, as it continues its race around Southampton.

In his last duty as outgoing city mayor, Councillor Ivan White said: "My first role is to welcome the Queen's Baton Bearer to our ceremony this morning.

"The City of Southampton is proud to be hosting the Commonwealth Games Queen's Baton Relay.

"We are fortunate today to be able to welcome Nick Chmarny to the stage who is carrying the Queen's Baton as recognition for his hard work and dedication to rowing.

"Nick has worked tirelessly over the last 30 years to develop rowing in the city.

"He is a long-standing member of Coalports Amateur Rowing Club and has been instrumental in developing rowers of all ages, as well as the development of facilities and opportunities for the sport in Southampton."

Nick Chmarny was still surprised he was asked to be a baton bearer.

He said: "When I got the phone call asking me to be bearer I didn't know what they wanted. It was a great honour to be selected. It's an honour for us all."

People arrived at the guildhall to see the baton in Southampton.

Jean and Paul Webb from Regents Park were some of those people.

Jean, 64, said: "I'm very proud to see the baton come here to Southampton. I think it's brilliant"

The relay started on board the Queen Elizabeth this morning, and from there it travelled to Southampton Guildhall before heading off to Southampton Outdoor Sports Centre where 600 children are gathering for a mass youth sporting extravaganza at 1.50pm with baton bearers Olympic gold medallist Sally Gunnell, netball coach Chris Grainger and wheelchair rugby star Richard Cartwright.

The climax of the day will be back at Guildhall Square at 5pm when Southampton and Team GB diving manager Annie Clewlow carries it onstage before a diving spectacular is carried out at 6.30pm.

Southampton is one of only 16 locations hosting the baton on its UK tour ahead of the Games, which take place in Glasgow on July 23.

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