With just under 90 days to go until the XX Commonwealth Games begins in Glasgow, Birmingham has announced its team of batonbearers selected to carry the Queen's Baton when it arrives in the city on 2 June.
The five batonbearers have been chosen in recognition of their contribution to sport and the community. They are:
Olympic swimmer and coach, Adam Ruckwood
GB International Rhythmic gymnast, Mimi Isabella Cesar
Sports volunteer, Pritesh Pattni
Triple jumper, Laura Samuel
Sports volunteer, Jess Edwards
Dame Kelly Holmes, President of Commonwealth Games England, said: “Our England batonbearers are going to play a crucial part when the Queen's Baton Relay arrives in England on May 31.
“They have all been selected due to their passion for sport and the way in which they share this with their communities and look to get people involved and active.
“I'm encouraging everyone in Birmingham to get involved when the Queen's Baton Relay comes to your city - find out what event is taking place and if you can be there then please go and cheer on your batonbearers and be part of the Team England send-off to Glasgow!”
On 2 June there will be a chance to participate in Commonwealth Sports as the baton travels around the city. At 8.30am the Baton will be in Victoria Square, followed by visits to Sunset Park in Ladywood, Holders Lane in Moseley and Ward End Park and ending in Centenary Square from 4pm onwards. In each of the venues, there will be a chance to watch sport demonstrations, join in or meet the athletes.
The baton will have visited 63 of 70 Commonwealth nations and territories when it arrives in the British Isles on Sunday 10 May. Landing in Jersey, the baton then journeys through Guernsey, Isle of Man, embarks on a four-day tour of Northern Ireland and then spends a week in Wales. It will arrive in England on 31 May to begin the penultimate leg of the Queen's Baton Relay in Manchester, visiting 16 different locations en route to its final destination through Scotland and the start of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
The XX Commonwealth Games takes place in Glasgow from 23 July to 3 August. Commonwealth Games England is sending a 400-strong team to compete across the 17 sports.
The Queen's Baton Relay in England is supported with National Lottery funding from Sport England.
For more information, interview requests and details of media opportunities around the Queen's Baton Relay please contact Anna Young at Run Communications: (M) 07799 064676 (E) firstname.lastname@example.org or Lisa Harper (M) 07940 301 514 email@example.com
For more information about Birmingham's batonbearers contact Debbie Harrison at Birmingham City Council's Press Office on 0121 303 34476
Notes to Editors
Adam Ruckwood swam for Great Britain at three Olympic Games in 1992, 1996 and 2000. He won numerous medals at international level including gold, silver and bronze medals at Commonwealth Games, silver and bronze medals at European Championships and was a five-time World Championship finalist.
Adam has coached swimmers to medal winning performances at European Championships, Commonwealth Games, World Student Games, World Junior Championships, European Junior Championships, European Youth Olympics and World Schools Games. He has also coached numerous other internationals, national senior and junior champions and British Record Holders.
Mimi Isabella Cesar
Mimi Isabella Cesar, 19, is one of Britain's top three senior GB International rhythmic gymnasts and has been a member of the City of Birmingham Gymnastics Club since the age of eight. Mimi was a successful junior at British and international level before moving to the senior ranks.
The teenager from Erdington, passed her A-levels last summer and is currently taking a year out of education to train full time. After a difficult 2013, having being plagued with injuries, she is fighting back and hoping to make the Commonwealth team this summer before going to university.
Mimi returned to international competiion for Great Britain in Hungary in February. She trains at GMAC with Olympic coach Lisa Higgins.
Pritesh Pattni has been a sports volunteer for over 25 years and runs the Bidgley Power Badminton Club in Aston. He is also involved in developing new ways of engaging underprivileged and diverse local communities and young people.
From extremely popular women and girls’ sessions, to driving a new disability club in the city centre, he is always searching to find ways to overcome the barriers that are associated with taking up new opportunities.
Pritesh works tirelessly to support his community and, despite his business suffering several attacks during the disturbances in Birmingham, he is still finding the time to continue the work he is doing.
Laura Samuel is a three times senior British triple jump champion, and has recently added the Indoor title to that list.
Dominating her event from a junior, Laura went on to break the British under 20 record at the 2010 World Junior Championships in Canada, jumping 13.75m. The performance also put her 7th in the UK all-time list - 1.41m behind fellow Stag Ashia Hansen.
She trains at Birchfield Harriers where she is coached by former international triple jumper Aston Moore. With his guidance Laura is well on track to progress even further in her event.
Jess Edwards,19, has contributed hundreds of hours of both volunteering and participating in the Active Parks pilot at Walkers Heath Park which is designed to encourage and inspire communities to use their parks to get active. She has also assisted the team at Sunset/ Moonlit and Holders Lane Fields pilot parks.
In addition Jess has trained as an Assistant Ride Leader and has helped with the SPORTIVATE Girl's cycling project as part of Sport England's London 2012 legacy project which gives more young people the chance to discover a sport.
Commonwealth Games England
Commonwealth Games England (CGE) leads and manages the participation of Team England at the Commonwealth Games and Commonwealth Youth Games. We are affiliated to the Commonwealth Games Federation and work closely with the various sports' National Governing Bodies (NGBs), funding partners such as Sport England, our commercial sponsors and Organising Committees. Our purpose is to help develop athletes and their sports, and to achieve success at Games-time.