THE team of elite sportspeople chosen to bear the 2014 Commonwealth Games baton through Southampton has today been announced.
Olympic medal winning athlete Iwan Thomas heads a group of six bearers carrying the iconic Queens Baton through the city ahead of this summer's Games in Glasgow.
Thousands of people are expected to take to the streets when the baton arrives in the city on Wednesday, June 4, as part of a national relay.
There are just under 100 days to go before the international sporting extravaganza kicks off in the Scottish city on Wednesday, July 23.
Today Southampton City Council announced the specially chosen sportspeople carrying the baton as a spectacular series of community sporting events unfolds at the city's landmarks, Retired sprinter Mr Thomas, from Southampton, clinched the silver medal in the 4 x100m relay in Atlanta heads the roster.
He is joined by netball coach and Saucony ladies team founder Chris Granger and diving coach Annie Clewlow who has developed the city's world class diving programme and served as team GB manager.
Southampton Park Run founder James Saunders and Richard Cartwright who has developed Team Solent Sharks Wheelchair Rugby Club in partnership with Southampton Solent University joins them.
Oarsman and Coalporters ARC member Nick Chmarny who has dedicated 30 years to nurturing the city's rowing talents is the sixth member.
The bearers were selected by the city's sports partners in recognition to their contribution to sport.
The baton will be held aloft on the Queen Elizabeth in Southampton Docks before being carried to Southampton Guildhall to coincide with the annual Mayor Making ceremony.
It will be taken to Southampton Sports Centre for a flagship TRYathlon event where 600 schoolchildren will take part in a variety of sports featuring at the Games.
The day climaxes with a spectacular display by cliff divers La Quebrada at a temporary diving pool and 25m board set up in Guildhall Square.
The baton will tour all 70 Commonwealth nations featuring in the Games which run until Sunday, August 3.
It arrives in the British Isles Sunday, May 10, for a tour of the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man before a four-day trip in Northern Ireland and a week in Wales It touches down in Manchester on Saturday, May 31, for the penultimate leg of the relay where it visits 16 different English locations before its final journey through Scotland.
Bearers will carry it to a variety of events organised by the council and its partners Cunard, Active Nation and Southampton Solent University.
Commonwealth Games England president Dame Kelly Holmes, said: “The batonbearers have all been selected due to their passion for sport and the way in which they share this with their communities and look to get people involved and active.
“I'm encouraging everyone in Southampton to get involved when the relay comes to your city.
“Find out what event is taking place and if you can be there then please go and cheer on your batonbearers and be part of the Team England send-off to Glasgow.”