British Weight Lifting hosts celebrations as Leeds welcomes Queen’s Baton Relay
IPC Powerlifting World Champion Ali Jawad was one of six baton bearers
The Queen’s Baton Relay arrived in Leeds on Thursday (12 June), as the excitement and anticipation continues to build in the lead up to this summer’s Commonwealth Games.
As part of the celebrations, British Weight Lifting and Commonwealth Games England para-sport powerlifting star Ali Jawad was one of six baton bearers, carrying the baton to John Charles Centre for Sport, where the British Weight Lifting team were hosting a day of workshops and training demonstrations for local school children.
British Weight Lifting welcomed over 100 children from seven local junior schools to the sports centre, where the day comprised lifting technique workshops, demos and ‘come and try’ sessions tailored specifically for young athletes.
Participants worked in pairs under the guidance and supervision of regional development officer Andreas Michaelas and talent pathway manager Dan Wagner, using child-friendly bars and discs to learn some of the lifting techniques used by the sport’s stars aiming for medals this summer.
Speaking at the event, British Weight Lifting CEO Ashley Metcalfe, said: “It was fantastic to be a part of the Queen’s Baton Relay celebrations and the day gave us the opportunity to engage with young athletes, for many of whom it was their first experience of weightlifting.
“We are very much focused on educating young people about the sport and making people aware of how accessible it is, so today’s event not only gave us the chance to do that but it also gave the children the opportunity to try out the sport for themselves, in a safe, controlled environment.”
The Queen’s Baton is travelling to 70 nations before arriving in Glasgow on 23 July for the Games’ opening ceremony.
The day concluded with evening celebrations at Leeds Civic Hall, which was attended by Commonwealth Games England weightlifting medal contender Rebekah Tiler and coach and British Weight Lifting competitions manager Eddie Halstead.
For more information on the Queen’s Baton Relay, visit https://www.glasgow2014.com/join/queens-baton-relay.