Published: 30 May 2014
Great Britain Cycling Team riders Jess Varnish and Matt Crampton will be at the National Cycling Centre on Saturday to welcome the Commonwealth Games Queen’s Baton Relay to Manchester.
Crampton, a Commonwealth Games silver medallist in 2006, and Varnish, a London 2012 Olympian and world championship medallist, are both expected to be named in the Team England squad when it is announced in June.
During the day the baton will visit some of Manchester’s most iconic sporting locations for a series of special events organised by Manchester City Council. The baton will be carried by a selection of local heroes, nominated for their contributions to sports, coaching, education and the community.
The relay will begin its day at the home of British Cycling, the National Cycling Centre, where it will be greeted by local clubs and groups taking part in track cycling, BMX, skateboarding and netball, where Varnish and Crampton will be joined by world squash champion, Laura Massaro.
The baton will be carried by Valerie Zebrokova, who was selected after her success as a BMX rider, Alan Coyle, a lacrosse club organiser and Ralph Alred who plays for the Lancashire Lions visually impaired cricket team, before moving on to Sportcity.
Crampton said: “It will be fantastic to welcome the Baton relay to the National Cycling Centre, a venue that played such a huge part when the Commonwealth Games visited Manchester in 2002. I can remember watching those games and feeling hugely inspired seeing riders like Sir Chris Hoy win gold and wanting to follow in his footsteps.
"With two months to go excitement is starting to build and I’m really looking forward to competing for Team England.”
Before visiting Manchester the Queen’s Baton has visited 68 of the 70 Commonwealth nations.
Dame Kelly Holmes, President of Commonwealth Games England, said: “I’m encouraging everyone in Manchester to get involved when the Queen’s Baton relay comes to the National Cycling Centre and Sportcity.
"Manchester will be hosting an incredible celebration of sport on 31 May and everyone can join in. If you can be there then please go and give sport a go, cheer your inspirational batonbearers and be part of the Team England send-off to Glasgow.”
The 2014 Commonwealth Games takes place in Glasgow from 23 July to 3 August.