Full day of festivities as Queen’s Baton reaches Powys

A full day of festivities is planned as the Commonwealth Games Queen’s Baton reaches Powys on the third of its 4 day tour of Wales. 

The day kicks off at Christ College in Brecon where the Baton will be greeted at the full school assembly with special guest Kirsty Williams AM before a relay with local primary schools.

The route will then travel north to Rhayader where local people can come along to enjoy a spectacular carnival parade involving community groups, 300 school children, themed costumes, circus performances, an elevated dragon sculpture and even giant sheep. 

The Rhayader parade has been created by town resident Peter Cox MBE, former screen writer for Channel 4’s Brookside and one of the founders of local arts group CARAD. Peter said: “We might be a small town but we’ll create a big welcome for the Queen’s Baton. The event is supported by dozens of volunteers and lots of local organisations including CARAD, the Town Council, sports clubs, Community Support, Business Group, the WI and Young Farmers Club.”

After leaving Rhayader, the Baton will visit Llanidloes High & Primary schools followed by a stop off at the Plasdinam Estate to meet the descendants of legendary Welsh industrialist David Davies. It will then travel to Ysgol Dafydd Llwyd in Newtown where the school pupils will parade their own unique batons. Headteacher Mrs Siân Davies said: “The arrival of the Queen’s Baton Relay at the school is the culmination of months of anticipation and preparation. During the summer term, the children have been learning about the Commonwealth across many subjects – from the sports featured at the Games to the currency, food and history of Commonwealth nations. We are extremely excited to give the Baton a distinctive Welsh welcome.”

Activities in Mid Wales will come to an end in Welshpool where over 400 local children will take part in a World Marathon Challenge on Salop Fields, Welshpool High School. They will compete in relay teams, running as far as they can in the time of local Commonwealth distance runner Andy Davies. 

Andy will be one of the many batonbearers carrying the Baton in Powys. Other Day 3 batonbearers include bowling trio and international champions Caroline Taylor, Kathy Pierce and Hazel Wilson; fitness instructor and fundraiser Jan Powell; and 7 year old Ysgol Dafydd Llwyd pupil Tyler Fereday who has bravely overcome a 3 year battle with leukaemia. 

Commonwealth Games Wales Chair, Helen Phillips said: “The festivities in Mid Wales are a true reflection of what the Queen’s Baton Relay is all about – bringing communities together with pride to celebrate the Commonwealth’s diversity and create excitement ahead of the Gold Coast Games next year. We thank everyone in Mid Wales, and in other parts of the country, who have helped make the Welsh leg of the Relay such a memorable event.”

The Queen’s Baton Relay started at Buckingham Palace on 13 March this year, and is travelling through Wales between 5-8 September. On departing from Welshpool, the Baton will spend the end of Day 3 in Mold ahead of a full final day in North West Wales. The Baton will then work its way to Australia via Asia and Oceania in time for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games’ opening ceremony on 4 April.