Commonwealth Games baton attracts crowd for Waltham Cross stretch

The Commonwealth Games baton made a splash as it brought crowds together in Waltham Cross on Friday, 8 July.

The event was attended by the Mayor of Broxbourne Councillor Paul Seeby, the Deputy Mayor Councillor Sherrie McDaid, the High Sheriff Sally Burton, Hertfordshire Chief Inspector Jason Finnegan, Chairman of Hertfordshire County Council Councillor Annie Brewster, and Councillor Gordon Nicholson.

The Queen’s Baton Relay was brought into the Borough of Broxbourne at 2pm, and then carried to the top of the Olympic course at the Lee Valley White Water Centre by World Champion slalom canoeist Mallory Franklin.

She handed the Commonwealth baton to local community champion Lynn Whitnall, who was on a raft ready to head down the white water course. Mallory then led the way in her canoe with Lynn and two raft crews following behind as the crowd cheered on.

The White Water Centre also hosted a Primary School Festival, with children from four schools in the Borough – Four Swannes, Holdbrook, Holy Trinity and St Joseph’s – then joining the crowd to see the Commonwealth baton.

Once Lynn’s raft reached the bottom of the course, she then began the walking stretch of her baton journey. Lynn Whitnall was chosen as the CEO of Paradise Wildlife Park, and a trustee for The Big Cat Sanctuary and the Zoological Society of Hertfordshire, for whom she has raised more than £100,000.

The Queen’s Baton Relay has travelled around all 72 nations and territories in the Commonwealth, and is now making its way to Birmingham for the opening ceremony on 28 July.

Councillor Paul Seeby, Mayor of Broxbourne, said:

“It was an honour to be part of this momentous occasion, and to watch this unique stretch of the Commonwealth Games baton relay. It was wonderful to have a crowd gather to watch a small bit of history taking place, and it was great to see all the primary school children taking part in sports themselves, and then waving their flags enthusiastically as the baton came through.”

Shaun Dawson, Chief Executive of Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, said:

“We were delighted to welcome the Queen’s Baton Relay to Lee Valley White Water Centre and be part of this international celebration. As we prepare to mark 10 years since the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, it’s great to see the spotlight back on this thriving venue which hosted the Canoe Slalom events during the Games and has since welcomed over 3.6 million visitors for a range of adrenalin charged white water experiences, major events and school, club and community programmes.”

Published: 11th July 2022