Queen's Baton Relay in Leeds: As it happened

Key Points

  • The Queen's Baton Relay is the main curtain raiser for the Commonwealth Games held in Glasgow between 23 July and 3 August
  • The baton is the Commonwealth Games version of the Olympic torch and carries a sealed, secret message written by the Queen
  • The baton relay journeys around England for 14 days and crosses the border into Scotland on 14 June

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    Good morning 10:00: Stephanie Barnard BBC Local Live

    It's day 13 of the Queen's Baton Relay tour of England and today it's in Leeds.

    I'll be keeping you up to date with what's happening and where the baton is. Of course, if you spot it send us your photos. Tweet using the hashtag #bbcbatonrelay or email.

    At Headingley Cricket Ground 10:08: Pritti Mistry BBC News

    Morning! I'm in Leeds today covering the Queen's Baton Relay as it travels across the city.

    Pupils celebrating in Grimsby

    Yesterday I followed the baton as it visited several places and schools in Hull and Grimsby. You can see photos from yesterday online.

    I'm ready to roll with the baton due to arrive at Headingley Cricket Ground in about half an hour.

    Curtain raiser 10:14:

    The relay is the main curtain raiser for the Commonwealth Games, which are being held in Glasgow between 23 July and 3 August.

    Waiting for the baton... 10:24: Daragh Corcoran Reporter, BBC Radio Leeds

    I'm reporting live from Headingley this morning for BBC Radio Leeds.

    Queen's Baton bearer Laura Beardsmore and organiser Sarah Crossley in Leeds

    I'm waiting with aikido champion Laura Beardsmore and organiser Sarah Crossley.

    Dry and warm 10:33:

    Looks like another great day, with a high of 21C (69F).

    Weather outlook in Leeds

    It will be dry and warm with sunny spells, although cloud will tend to increase later in the day. Read the full forecast on BBC Weather.

    Adams in training 10:43: Ben Moore Reporter, BBC News

    The baton has already made an early appearance this morning at Burmantofts Amateur Boxing Club on Hudson Road where Nicola Adams trains.

    Nicola Adams holding Queen's Baton
    Ear plugs ready 10:50: Pritti Mistry BBC News

    I'm at Headingley's indoor cricket centre where about 60 kids from schools across Leeds are showing off their skills in rugby, cricket and football.

    Pritti Mistry putting in ear plugs

    By the way, I've come prepared with some ear plugs this time after yesterday's "screamathon" in Hull and Grimsby.

    'Don't drop the baton' 10:56:

    Aikido champion Laura Beardsmore, 27, brings the baton into Headingley cricket centre. She won three gold medals last year in the World Championships.

    Laura says she's "keeping her nerves intact" because she's afraid she'll drop the baton. Thankfully she hasn't so far!

    Laura Beardsmore carrying Queen's baton

    Laura was nominated to carry the baton for her work with young people encouraging them from junior to senior level competition.

    11:00: Ben Moore Reporter, BBC News

    The Commonwealth baton arrives to cheers at Headingley.

    Queen's Baton welcomed in Headingley, Leeds

    We'll be following it all day. You can see more on Look North at 13:30 and 18:30 on BBC One.

    'Too heavy' 11:09: Stephanie Barnard BBC Local Live

    When asked "What do you think to the baton?" one of the kids replies: "It's really pretty but you wouldn't like to carry it because it's too heavy."

    Children at headingley with the Queen's baton

    If you spot the baton in Leeds today, email or tweet your photos to us.

    Brownlee brothers selected 11:13: Stephanie Barnard BBC Local Live

    Great news! Jonny and Alistair Brownlee have been selected as part of England's triathlon team.

    Brownlee brothers

    Alistair Brownlee says: "To win a medal at a home games is something every athlete wants to achieve and I feel very lucky to have this opportunity again just two years on from London."

    Baton on the move 11:22: Pritti Mistry BBC News

    The baton is now heading from Headingley towards the John Charles Centre where it will be welcomed by hundreds more school children.

    Schools from across the area will be there taking part in sporting activities.

    It sounds like quite a day is lined up. I'm told there will be a diving display, five-a-side football and some tennis.

    'Yorkshire honesty' 11:29:

    BBC Baton correspondent Ben Moore has been following the relay for over a month and says the Leeds school children were by far the most enthusiastic.

    BBC reporter Ben Moore interviews school children about the Queen's baton

    He says they showed real Yorkshire honesty when being interviewed.

    'Day filled with sport' 11:37:

    Former professional badminton player Jenny Wallwork tweets: At the #batonrelay today at the John Charles Centre. The kids are ready for a day filled with sports. What better way to spend your day. ;-)

    'Thanks Tykes' 11:47:

    Commonwealth Games England tweets: Thanks to @Yorkshireccc for hosting the #BatonRelay this morning. Next stop the John Charles Centre! #TeamEngland

    Queen's baton at Headingley, Leeds

    You can follow the Commonwealth Games England team on Twitter for more updates.

    Read more 11:52:

    Six people are carrying the Queen's baton in Leeds today.

    You can read more about the baton's journey in West Yorkshire on BBC News.

    'Excited youngsters' 12:00:

    The baton has arrived at the John Charles Centre.

    Baton arrives at John Charles Centre

    Leeds City Council tweets: Lots of excited youngsters welcome the #queensbaton to the tennis centre at the John Charles Centre @Batonrelay2014

    'A real honour' 12:07:

    Nicola Adams says it's a real honour to see the Queen's Baton pass through her home city today, as well as the gym she trains in.

    Nicola Adams

    She tells BBC News: "I'm just so happy that it's in Leeds."

    Sporting events 12:14: Daragh Corcoran Reporter, BBC Radio Leeds

    Ali Jawad and Nile Wilson hold the Queen's Baton in the tennis centre.

    Ali Jawad and Nile Wilson hold the Queen's Baton in the tennis centre in Leeds

    Hundreds of children have gathered here today to be part of the fun and activities which run until about 15:00. Hear more on BBC Radio Leeds.

    '500 children' 12:26: Pritti Mistry BBC News

    About 500 kids from 80 different schools in Leeds taking part in numerous Commonwealth sports.

    It's a glorious sunny day. Let's hope these rays hold out for the rest of today's relay action.

    On its travels 12:39:

    On its travels the baton has visited the Taj Mahal, been under water in the Seychelles and sailed on one of the last Royal Mail ships in service.

    Taj Mahal

    It's been held by world class athletes, including Jamaican sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, and been up the tallest building in Gold Coast, Australia - the next host city.

    Behind the scenes 12:50:

    Nicola Adams MBE tweets: #QueensBatonRelay is in #Leeds all day #today here is some behind the scenes footage in the #gym #CWG… instagram.com/p/pI2DnABnvl/

    'A real privilege' 12:58:

    Baton bearer Nile Wilson says it's been a "pretty incredible" experience to be part of today.

    Nile Wilson holds Queen's baton in Leeds

    The 18-year-old says: "It's a real privilege to be chosen. I didn't realise how big this event was until right now so I'm really excited."

    Extensive coverage 13:06:

    There is extensive coverage of the relay, including television documentaries and regular updates on the Queen's Baton Relay website.

    Slideshow: 'Epic journey' 13:14:

    As the Queen's Baton Relay travels across the UK, BBC reporter Mark Beaumont, who has been following the baton, shares his memories from the epic journey which has taken in 63 Commonwealth nations and territories in seven months.

    Queen's baton held by children in Tonga

    Watch the slideshow online now.

    Triathlon team 13:29:

    Read more on BBC Sport about the West Yorkshire brothers Alistair and Jonny Brownlee who will head the England triathlon team for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

    World Championship silver medallist Jodie Stimpson, Vicky Holland and Lucy Hall will race in the women's event.

    Crowds gather to see relay 13:38: Pritti Mistry BBC News

    The baton bearers are greeted with huge cheers as they travel around the John Charles Centre.

    Crowds gather round baton in Leeds

    It's a good job I've got my ear plugs in.

    'Cheeky faces' 13:48:

    Such a mixture of cheeky and happy faces from Shakespeare Primary School.

    Pupils from Shakespeare Primary School.

    They're heading back to class after playing rugby.

    Power lifter takes baton 13:57: Pritti Mistry BBC News

    Holding the heavy baton shouldn't be a problem for Paralympics power lifter Ali Jawad

    Paralympics power lifter Ali Jawad holding Queen's baton in Leeds

    The 25-year-old from Bramley says the highlight of his career so far is winning gold at the Asian Open last year. His dream is to become the first Crohns sufferer to take gold at any Olympics or Paralympics.

    Diving skills 14:08:

    So many activities taking place today. Here, members of Leeds Diving Club are showing off their skills

    Leeds Diving Club show off their skill as the Queen's baton visits the city

    Children at the aquatic centre are whooping and cheering.

    Badminton, tennis and squash 14:17:

    Badminton Commonwealth Games silver and bronze medallist Jenny Wallwork has been holding sessions today at the John Charles Centre.

    Badminton session in Leeds

    She tweets: Great atmosphere this morning for the #QueensBatonRelay . Active morning playing Badminton, Tennis & Squash.

    Passing the baton 14:26:

    The baton is the Commonwealth Games version of the Olympic torch. While the flame is passed from torch to torch for the Olympics, the Queen's baton itself is passed between the baton bearers.

    'Different experience' 14:39:

    Here's a picture of some of the school children who gathered at Headingley earlier. This is PE teacher Cathy Mawson and kids from Benton Park Secondary School.

    Cathy Mawson, PE teacher at Benton Park Secondary School with pupils
    Power lifting 14:49:

    Team England weightlifters Sarah Davis, 21, and Jack Oliver, 23, say they were both surprised by the heaviness of the baton. No hope for me then to carry the baton!

    Weightlifting pair
    Aikido champ 15:00:

    Baton bearer Laura Beardsmore has spent 16 years competing for Leeds and Great Britain at national and international level Aikido.


    She became the first person in history to win back to back world titles. She also runs seminars for young people and wants to manage the GB squad. And she's only 27!

    Next stop 15:11:

    The next stop for the Queen's Baton Relay will be Leeds Civic Hall. The baton is due to arrive at about 17:35 BST.

    Women's boxing 15:19: Stephanie Barnard BBC Local Live

    Nicola Adams is still waiting to hear whether she's been selected to compete for Team England at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

    She told BBC News this morning there was a "good chance" she'll be picked.

    If chosen, she'll be vying for the first ever women's Boxing Gold Medal as it's the first time it's been opened up to women at the games. Read more about the boxing category on the Glasgow 2014 website.

    Two days to go 15:28:

    Baton Relay 2014 tweets: It seemed apt that with 2 days to go until the baton arrives in #Scotland, we passed this in Yorkshire @Glasgow2014

    Commonwealth Games graffiti in Leeds

    You can keep across the coverage on the BBC Queen's Baton Relay page.

    The baton bearers 15:39:

    The six baton bearers through Leeds today are gymnast Nile Wilson, swimmer Sophie Taylor, Aikido champion Laura Beardsmore, Paralympic powerlifter Ali Jawad, and sports volunteers Charlie Sansome and Norman Stephens.

    Medals v baton 15:50:

    Paralympic skier Jade Etherington tweets: In Leeds carrying the Queen's Baton for the 2014 Commonwealth games! #whichisheavier? #medals #baton

    Paralympian skier Jade Etherington

    Jade is the most successful British woman in the Winter Paralympics, winning four medals in Sochi earlier this year.

    In April, the 23-year-old said she may not compete again because she was in a large amount of debt, due to lack of funding.

    Baton selfie 16:01: Stephanie Barnard BBC Local Live

    Pritti spotted some of the baton bearers seizing the moment and taking a selfie.

    Baton bearer selfie photos

    I then spotted a tweet of the finished photo.

    Have to admit when I was travelling with the baton last week I got one too. It would be rude not to!

    Watch: Baton arriving 16:11: via Facebook

    BBC Radio Leeds posts: The Queen's Baton Relay arriving at John Charles Centre for Sport earlier.

    The Queen's Baton Relay arriving at John Charles Centre for Sport earlier.

    Baton Bearer is 18 year old Nile Wilson, medal winning gymnast from Leeds.

    'Knuckle down with training' 16:20:

    Triathlete Vicky Holland says its "very exciting and a bit of a relief" to be selected as part of Team England in the Commonwealth Games.

    Vicky Holland in Leeds

    She says: "I'm going to knuckle down with my final bits of preparation and training.

    "It's been a great day with lots of participation and all the kids have been out to support us. "

    Sporting community celebrated 16:35:

    The baton will finish its visit to Leeds with a special celebration of the city's athletes, coaches and volunteers at Leeds Civic Hall from 17:00.

    The council says the "event will recognise the important contribution that members of Leeds' sporting community have made to the city".

    Police snap 16:48:

    Officers from West Yorkshire Police pose for a photo.

    West Yorkshire Police officers with the baton

    Share your baton photos with us - email or tweet us you pics.

    Quiet outside the Civic Hall 16:59: Pritti Mistry BBC News

    I've just arrived at Civic Hall and there are no crowds at present. But then it is hosting a private party for the baton bearers and athletes.

    Leeds Civic Hall

    I've been told that Phoenix Dance will be performing. The dance company recently staged the hugely ambitious Ghost Peloton outdoor light and cycling show as part of the Yorkshire Festival ahead of the Tour De France Grand Depart next month.

    Four minute mile 17:11:

    The baton has been a fixture in the build up to the Commonwealth Games since the 1958 event in Cardiff.

    Roger Bannister

    Roger Bannister, the first athlete to run a mile in under four minutes, was a baton bearer on that occasion.

    In pictures 17:20:

    See some of the photos from the baton's tour of Leeds today on the BBC News website.

    Nicola Adams holds Commonwealth baton in Leeds
    Guests arrive at the Civic Hall 17:28: Pritti Mistry BBC News

    Baton bearer Charlotte Samsome has arrived at Civic Hall with her family for the evening party.

    Guests invited to the celebration event start to fill the Civic Hall balcony lobby area in Leeds

    Guests invited to the celebration event start to fill the Civic Hall balcony lobby area.

    'Rubbing shoulders with athletes' 17:39:

    The excitement's building for European weightlifting champion Rebekah Tiler, 15, from Denholme.

    Rebekah Tiler, 15, from Denholme

    She was chosen to be part of Team England recently and it will be the first time she'll be competing in the Games.

    She says she's looking forward to rubbing shoulders with other athletes at the event being held at the Civic Hall.

    Final appearance in Leeds 17:48: Pritti Mistry BBC News

    Sports volunteer and ex-rugby player Norman Stephens carried the baton outside the Civic Hall. There was no crowd of onlookers just some commuters and drinkers in the nearby bars.

    Sports volunteer and ex-rugby player Norman Stephens carried the baton outside the Civic Hall

    The private party continues inside the Civic Hall and I'm now heading off to enjoy the sunshine outside.

    Baton heads north... 17:56: Stephanie Barnard BBC Local Live

    The glorious sunshine in Leeds today really has added to the day's events.

    BBC reporter Ben Moore, who has been following the baton across the UK, says it's one of the most enthusiastic visits he's seen.

    Tomorrow the baton is in North East, with the relay starting at the Angel of the North. Read more about Friday's route online.


Queen's Baton Relay

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