Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
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16 March 2005 PR 05/22
Loughborough is out of the blocks for Commonwealth Games tour

Queen's Baton Relay runs into East Midlands

Leicestershire cricket captain, Darren Maddy and Ricky Soos, middle distance athlete and Olympian will carry the Commonwealth Games Queen’s Baton around Loughborough University campus this Wednesday, 16 March. They will be joined by a number of talented student athletes from the University and Glasgow Caledonian University’s Iain Carr, a physiotherapy student from Newark.

The Queen’s Baton Relay – which signifies a call to athletes to the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games – will come to Loughborough at 3:00pm on 16 March. Several sports and numerous Team England members are based at the University which also hosts the English Institute of Sport. Sport England, the strategic lead for sport in England, has invested almost £30 million lottery funding in the sports facilities at Loughborough.

The baton arrives in Loughborough from Norwich en route to Birmingham - the next stop on the tour. The baton carries the Queen’s message to be read at the opening ceremony of the Games, and will visit all 71 Commonwealth countries and territories on its tour.

The baton relay will visit twelve English towns and cities in March and April, culminating in an event in Central London, spearheaded by Commonwealth and Olympic Gold medallists, Ashia Hansen and Marlon Devonish. They will then hand the baton over ahead of the next leg of the relay in The Gambia.

Roger Draper, Chief Executive of Sport England, said:

“The 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games left an amazing sporting legacy for the North West and provided a fantastic stage for many English sporting successes. We look forward to further sporting success in Melbourne next year and hope that people around the country will join us in wishing all members of Team England well – both up and coming athletes and established sporting stars. We believe that the Queen’s Baton Relay is a great way to encourage a new generation to start, stay and succeed in sport.”

As it tours the country, the baton will be carried by a host of budding Commonwealth Games athletes, and established sporting celebrities, as well as local winners of competitions organised by Sport England.

Ann Hogbin, Chief Executive, Commonwealth Games Council for England, said:

"The advent of the Queen's Baton Relay always adds an extra frisson to Team England's preparations. We know that the Games, where established stars will line up with those of the future, are now just a year away.”

Ricky Soos said:

“I’m looking forward to Melbourne. We’re hoping that the Queen’s Baton Relay will revive glorious memories of Manchester and Athens, and enthuse more youngsters to get off the sofa and get active.”

Sir David Wallace, Vice Chancellor at Loughborough University, said:

“We are delighted to be hosting the baton’s visit to the East Midlands. We hope that this, coupled with next year’s Games in Melbourne, will excite other people to get involved in sport.”



For further information contact:

Hannah Baldwin, Head of PR, Loughborough University, T: 01509 222239, E: H.E.Baldwin@lboro.ac.uk

Press are invited to attend a photocall at Loughborough University’s athletics track at 3.15pm on Wednesday 16th March 2006. Press wishing to attend should contact Debbie Silton or Neil Daugherty at Blue Rubicon on 020 7340 0430 or at neil.daugherty@bluerubicon.com / debbie.silton@bluerubicon.com
Vivien Paulson-Ellis at Sport England on 020 7273 1822, M: 07798 677860, email: Vivien.Paulson-Ellis@sportengland.org or visit www.sportengland.org/melbourne2006.


Notes to editors:

About Loughborough University
Loughborough has an established reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry, and unrivalled sporting achievement. Assessments of teaching quality by the Quality Assurance Agency place Loughborough in the top flight of UK universities, and industry highlights Loughborough in its top ten for graduate recruitment. Around 45% of the University's income is for research. The University has been awarded four Queen's Anniversary Prizes: for its collaboration with aerospace and automotive companies such as BAE Systems, Ford and Rolls Royce; for its work in developing countries; for pioneering research in optical engineering; and for its world-leading role in sports research, education and development.

About the Melbourne 2006 XVIII Commonwealth Games
The XVIII Commonwealth Games will be held in Melbourne, Australia from 15th to 26th March 2005. Additional information including a list of sports is available at www.melbourne2006.com.au.

About the Queen’s Baton Relay
Australian Prime Minister John Howard unveiled the Queen’s Baton Relay route and baton itself in February. The baton will carry Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s message to the athletes to be read at the Opening Ceremony of the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games. The baton’s journey from Buckingham Palace crosses all 71 nations of the Commonwealth.

The revolutionary baton contains state-of-the-art technical features, including two tiny ‘baton cam’ cameras, a microphone and a global positioning system to track the baton’s location at all times. When the relay begins, visitors to this website will be able to track the baton’s progress and view ‘baton cam’ webcasts.

About Sport England
Sport England is the strategic lead for Sport in England and invests Lottery and Exchequer funds into sport. Our aim is to encourage people of all ages to start, stay and succeed in sport at every level and make England the most active and successful sporting nation.

Sport England has nine Regional Sports Boards (RSBs), each made up of experts from areas such as business, local government, sport, health and education. The RSBs provide the strategic lead for sport in their regions and distribute investment for grassroots sport.

Sport England has invested more than £2bn of Lottery funds into sport across England and more than £300 million from the Exchequer via the DCMS. www.sportengland.org

About the Commonwealth Games Council for England
The Commonwealth Games Council for England is responsible for all matters relating to the Commonwealth Games in England. Membership of the Games Council consists of representatives of 26 sports in the Commonwealth Games programme. England has competed in every Games since the first Empire Games in 1930 and has hosted the Games twice - in London in 1934 and Manchester in 2002.

The CGCE has been a beneficiary of Sport England funding towards the costs of the preparation of Team England since 1994. This has enabled the CGCE to run extensive management, training and educational programmes, ensuring that competitors and officials alike are fully prepared to meet the challenges ahead.

The Commonwealth Games Council for England (CGCE) is responsible for selecting and organising England's team for the Commonwealth Games. Team England will participate in all of the 17 programme sports at the 2006 Games in Melbourne with an estimated team size of around 580 athletes and key support personnel. At the last Games, held in Manchester, Team England finished second on the overall medal table with 54 gold, 51 silver and 60 bronze medals.

The raising of funds for Team England's participation in the Games themselves is the sole responsibility of the CGCE and is raised through sponsorship and fund-raising activities. Donations towards the team's costs are always most gratefully received, as without this ongoing support Team England would not be able to participate in the Games.

For further information about Team England please contact Caroline Searle in the CGCE's press office on (01225) 383518 OR (07831) 7555351.

If you wish to support Team England's fund-raising and sponsorship campaigns please call either the CGCE main office on 0208 676 3543 OR Sports Marketing and Management on (0208) 323 8071.

About Darren Maddy
Darren Maddy is the captain of the Leicestershire cricket team and led his team to victory in the 20-20 cup by being the first player to 500 runs. He debut for England against New Zealand at The Oval in 1999 was selected for subsequent tours of South Africa and Zimbabwe in 1999-00.

About Ricky Soos
Ricky Soos was Great Britain's number one 800m runner in 2004. At just 21 years of age he was Britain's sole representative over 800m at the Athens Olympic Games, where he reached the semi-final. In 2003 he won his first senior AAA title and was selected to represent Great Britain at the World Championships in Paris. Ricky has set his sights on a medal in Melbourne.


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