THE Queen’s Baton Relay was immersed in Welsh culture and tradition on day three of its seven-day journey through Wales at the Urdd National Eisteddfod in Bala.
Welcomed by the first baton bearer of the day, former European and Commonwealth 400m champion, Iwan Thomas, the baton played a big part in the opening ceremony of the 2014 event, which is one of Europe’s largest youth festivals.
Iwan said: “My mother is from Bala so first and foremost I was very proud to represent Wales as an athlete and win a Commonwealth gold. Tto be back carrying the baton today in an area where my family is from is a fantastic moment for me so I am really proud today to be here, it’s such a huge festival. I think it is a great opportunity for the festival to be recognised and for people to get to see the Queen’s Baton.”
After a relay around the Maes the baton spent the afternoon with the crowds at some of the 200 stalls surrounding the main pavilion with activities from cooking demonstrations and sporting activities taking place; all of which were enjoyed by Clyde, the Glasgow 2014 official mascot.
Local atheltes and volunteers were well represented by Denbigh girl Anna Eleanor Cooper who volunteers at Denbigh Swimming Club and Mael Evans from Bala who is a member of the Bala Town Football Club youth academy.
Both Anna and Mael were picked to be baton bearers in recognition of the contribution to local sport.
At the close of the Bank Holiday weekend and at almost the half way point of the baton’s week in Wales, Chris Jenkins, the chief executive of Commonwealth Games Wales reflected on it’s success so far.
“We always anticipated that the Queen’s Baton Relay would draw the crowds but we’ve been completely overwhelmed by the support and enthusiasm shown by the Welsh public over the last three days.”
The baton returns to North Wales including coming to Denbighshire on Friday where it will make its way to Llandegla, Ruthin and to the top of Moel Famau.
The baton arrives at Moel Famau on horseback where walking groups will relay the baton to the peak of Moel Famau.
There will be a Family Fun day at Cae Ddol, Ruthin Rugby Club and the Llanfwrog Centre, where you can join in and watch the battle of the bands, local sport fixtures, bouncy castles, face painting and sporting taster sessions from local clubs such as rugby league, rugby union, netball, athletics, football, fun fitness boot camps, tennis, golf and bowls.
The baton will be at Cae Ddol between between 3.30pm and 4.30pm.
The baton will then move on to Llandegla between 5pm and 6pm for a fun open day for mountain bike enthusiasts at Coed Llandegla.
Go-Race events will be organised by Welsh Cycling throughout the day, test your power against Team GB cyclists scores on the watt bikes leader board.