Mayor welcomes Commonwealth Games Queen's Baton Relay to London

06 June 2014

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson was joined by Olympic, World and Commonwealth Champion Christine Ohuruogu MBE and local schoolchildren today, when he welcomed the Commonwealth Games Queen's Baton Relay to the capital, part of the England leg of a journey that will see it travel 190,000 kilometres over 288 days.

The Baton, which visits 70 Commonwealth nations and toured Northern Ireland and Wales, is going to 16 further locations en route to its final journey through Scotland and the start of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. This weekend sees it being carried across London by twelve Londoners, who were nominated for their contributions to their communities in coaching, education, community sports initiatives and youth politics.

Two Batonbearers from Southwark, Faramolu Johnson and Michael Pusey, carried the Baton to City Hall this morning, accompanied by Christine Ohuruogu and pupils from Alfred Salter Primary School in Rotherhithe, where they were greeted by the Mayor and other schoolchildren. Faramolu Johnson coaches young children with Macrpro basketball in the Damilola Taylor Centre, Peckham, where he is a volunteer youth worker. Michael Pusey, a DJ and entrepreneur known as CK Flash set up the Peckham BMX Club which began in 2004, and now benefits local children.

The Baton is set to travel to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park this Sunday 8 June, for a Festival of Sport. This free celebration will be the biggest mass participation sports event on the Park, bringing people of all ages and backgrounds together to try new sports. More than 30 different sports and activities will take place across the Park throughout the day, from football and Frisbee games, to fitness boot camps, dance workshops and mini cricket.

There will be a range of inclusive sports such as wheelchair basketball, and fun and games for all members of the family of any age or ability.

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: 'I am thrilled to be welcoming the Queen's Baton to London. As well as being one of the greatest sporting tournaments in the world, the Commonwealth Games are a celebration of the historic ties between nations. As Glasgow prepares to host what I am sure will be a hugely successful Games in six weeks' time, I urge Londoners and visitors alike to take part in our festivities and head to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park this Sunday for our own sizzling Festival of Sport.'

Olympic, World and Commonwealth Champion Christine Ohuruogu MBE said: 'I am delighted to join London's celebrations for the Commonwealth Games and wish all the athletes taking part a wonderful event.'

The XX Commonwealth Games takes place in Glasgow from 23rd July to 3rd August. Commonwealth Games England is sending a 400-strong team to compete across the 17 sports.

Notes to editors

Batonbearer Faramolu Johnson from Southwark Fara is a huge supporter of basketball within Southwark. He coaches young children with MACPRO basketball in the Damilola Taylor Centre, Peckham, and is a volunteer youth worker there. After a tragic death in the basketball community, Fara kept the club going and is now trying to get basketball into local schools. He is also a member of the Southwark Youth Sports Panel and the Southwark Youth Council alongside studying for his A Levels. Fara is an excellent role model to Southwark’s young people and an exciting prospect for the future. 

Batonbearer Michael Pusey from Southwark Peckham BMX Club began in 2004 when Southwark Council and Edwards Bike Shop approached local DJ and entrepreneur CK Flash (AKA Michael Pusey) to take on the challenge of clearing a patch of waste-ground – and so the club was born. After tireless work and opening with just four members, it quickly attracted scores of local children and grew to become the number one club in the UK by 2008. It was an amazing achievement in such a short space of time and bears testament to the club’s mentality, the kids’ determination, the coaches' inspiration and the incredible CK Flash. 

Festival of Sport in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park To celebrate the arrival of the Queen's Baton Relay, a Festival of Sport will be held on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on Sunday 8 June. This free celebration will be the biggest mass participation sports event on the Park, bringing people of all ages and backgrounds together to try new sports. More than 30 different sports and activities will take place across the Park throughout the day, from football and Frisbee games, to fitness boot camps, dance workshops and mini cricket. There will be a range of inclusive sports such as wheelchair basketball, fun and games for all members of the family of any age or ability. For more information visit QueenElizabethOlympicPark.co.uk, follow on Twitter @noordinarypark and like on Facebook facebook.com/QueenElizabethOlympicPark 

Queen's Baton Relay For more information, interview requests and details of media opportunities around the Queen's Baton Relay please contact: Anna Young at Run Communications: 07799 064 676 [email protected]

Commonwealth Games England Commonwealth Games England (CGE) leads and manages the participation of the English team at the Commonwealth Games, working closely with each sport's National Governing Body, its funding partner Sport England, and the Games' Organising Committee.www.weareengland.org