How a dragon boat will carry Commonwealth Games baton across city river - The Worcester Observer
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11th Aug, 2022

How a dragon boat will carry Commonwealth Games baton across city river

Rob George 16th Jul, 2022

WORCESTER is preparing to offer one of the most memorable sights of the 25-day Queen’s Baton Relay celebrations.

When the Baton arrives in the city it will cross the River Severn on a striking dragon boat, propelled by the city’s renowned Worcester Dragon Boat Racing Club.

And to make the moment even more memorable, the Batonbearer for the journey across the UK’s longest river will be swimmer Rebecca Redfern, Paralympic silver medal winner.

The club’s paddlers will transport Rebecca and the Queen’s Baton itself from King’s Boathouse in Severn Street, on the eastern side of the Severn, to the city’s swan sanctuary on the west.

The striking sight of the Dragon Boat’s voyage will look especially memorable from the famous Worcester Bridge, which overlooks its course, giving watching crowds a moment to treasure.

Nigel Leigh – lead coach for Worcester Dragon Boat Racing Club, said: “Worcester Dragon Boat Racing Club is honoured to be chosen to transport the Baton in the faithful city of Worcester. The club has been active on the River Severn for more than 30 years and has introduced thousands of people across the city and beyond to our unique team sport.

“Dragon boat paddling and racing reflects all of the qualities and dedication represented by those selected to carry the Queen’s Baton.

“Hundreds of individuals taking responsibility for their leg of the relay, each one dependent on those carrying before and after them, every link equally important.

“Dragon boat performance is directly related to the timing and rhythm of identical paddle strokes from each of the crew, commanded from the drum, directed by the helm, teamwork at its best.

“The dragon boat family extends across the world and provides opportunities from social paddling through to elite international competitions, a sporting journey similar to the path taken by the Baton carrying the Queen’s message.”

Rebecca who trains with Worcester Swimming Club and scored silver medals at both the 2016 Rio and 2020 Tokyo Paralympics, said: “I was extremely excited when I found out that I would be carrying the Baton down the River Severn on a dragon boat!

“Being a Batonbearer is a once in a lifetime opportunity and carrying it on the dragon boat makes it even more special and memorable.

“I cannot wait to be a part of this historic event and continue to inspire the present and future generations.”

Thousands of people are expected to line Worcester’s streets to watch Rebecca and other local Batonbearers carry the Baton through the city from 5.30pm on the day, as part of the build-up to the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

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