Queen’s Baton Relay comes to Gravesend next week
The Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay comes to Gravesend next week as part of its final journey through England this summer – a journey which brings together and celebrates communities across the Commonwealth during the build up to the Commonwealth Games.
On Friday 8 July, Gravesend will officially welcome the baton between 8am and 9am.
The Queen’s Baton Relay will start with a moment of community reflection at the Guru Nanak Darbar Gurdwara, before being carried through the streets to Town Pier, where it will be taken on board a boat and ferried across to Tilbury, from where it will start its tour of Eastern England.
Since the announcement that the Queen’s Baton Relay is coming to Gravesend, Gravesham Borough Council has been working hard with the organisers and our partners including the Port of London Authority, the Gurdwara, Cohesion Plus, Team Kaizen, LV21, and Town Pier Pontoon to ensure this is a great morning for the whole community.
There will be entertainment reflecting Gravesham’s rich Commonwealth links along the route, and we hope as many people as possible turn out to support our local Batonbearers and those from the eastern region as they play their part in this truly international spectacle.
The Batonbearers for the Gravesend leg of the relay are:
- Michelle White from Hartley. Born with spina bifida she has spent 18 months trialling for the para bowls squad and in January found out that she had been selected to represent England at Birmingham 2022.
- Amanda Smith from Swanley. Amanda is a sports fanatic, swimming teacher, a volunteer and passionate charity worker. She has had medical challenges -Heart, Asthma and knee surgery. She competed for charity including London Marathons, Moonwalks, Race’s for Life, Swimathon’s and others. As a Swim Teacher she won the ASA 2003 Swim School & Teacher of the year. She could not swim until she was 18 and she attended the games in Manchester and Glasgow with her mum, whom she unexpectedly lost last year. Being selected means the world to her and the fond memories with her mum.
- John Boy Smith from West Kingsdown. A silver medallist in the T54 Marathon at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and a 2021 Paralympian. He is the first athlete with Romany heritage to compete at the Commonwealth Games and Paralympic Games.
- Lysa Whymark from Brentwood. In 2019 Lisa set up the Daily Bread, helping to put an end to hunger and stop excess waste going to landfill. The Daily Bread is now a six days a week food hub, collecting food from more than 100 supermarkets every week.
- Cheavon Clarke from Gravesend. Cheavon is a heavyweight boxer who competed at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games before turning pro at the start of 2022.
Originally from Montego Bay, Jamaica, Cheavon competed for the country of his birth at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Following his switch to the UK, the young boxer didn’t waste time in making a great impressions as he won the English Boxing Elite National Championship in 2016 before being selected to join the Great Britain Podium Boxing squad.
Cheavon has caught the eye on numerous occasions, most notably winning silver at the European Championships in Kharkiv (2017), bronze at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast (2018) and bronze at the European Games in Minsk (2019).
Following his successful amateur career, he turned his attention to the professional ranks and in January 2022 signed a long-term promotional deal with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing.
Cheavon takes great pride in being a financial literacy advocate, helping young people from across the social spectrum to better prepare themselves for day-to-day life and to be responsible, positive and proactive with financial decisions as they arise. He is very active in the community with charitable work.
- Michelle Bramble from Gravesend. Founder and chair of North Kent Caribbean Network, Michelle works to ensure that the history of her community’s journey to Gravesham is not forgotten. Working with Cohesion Plus, the Network has also celebrated Commonwealth Day over the years, highlighting inspirational members of the community who hail from all parts of the Commonwealth and celebrating the work they have done for the Borough.
- Joanne Rout from Crowborough. Joanne was born with the physical disability of a missing left hand and wrist. She loved swimming and at 6 years old had mastered every stroke. Aged 10 Joanne competed in the Stoke Mandeville Swimming Nationals setting 12 National records. In the 1988 Seoul Paralympics Joanne still holds the World Paralympic Record as the “Youngest Ever Gold Medal Winner” (x2) aged only 12. She also won 3 Silvers. Joanne represented GB in Paris and Miami winning her races. Joanne voluntarily helped the community as a qualified Swimming and Life Saving Coach in local able bodied clubs for over 15 years.