Air Cadets Help Queen's Bat-on Its Way!
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By Flight Lieutenant Gary Richardson RAF VR(T) - 2344 (Longbenton) Squadron
Longbenton Air Cadets were on parade as part of the Queen’s Baton Relay as it made its way through Tyneside. The youngsters formed a Guard of Honour at The Walker Activity Dome in Newcastle, whilst the squadron band performed Blaydon Races as school children from Central Walker Primary School and guests sang along.
The band performed its ‘Queen’s Message’ repertoire as Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth Gold medallist; Jonathan Edwards carried the Queen’s Baton into the Dome. Jonathan said; “The Commonwealth Games is a great event. There is great excitement ahead of Glasgow 2014 to have the baton relay here. To represent Newcastle is a very proud moment." He then explained where the Baton has been and why it’s important to the Games.
The baton has visited 70 nations and is currently travelling around the UK before reaching Glasgow on 23 July, where the message contained in the Baton will be read by HM The Queen.
The band finally performed Local Hero whilst the school children went to take part in activities including judo, football, tennis and basketball.
Cadet Alexander Findlay, 15, of Holystone, said, “I was nervous knowing I had to greet the Baton by giving the commands to the Guard of Honour, with the Commonwealth watching, but there was a great atmosphere and I will never forget being on parade today; it was great!”
“We’ve had a brilliant time,” added Alex Sample, 14 of Benton. “Everyone has enjoyed it. Listening to Jonathan talk when he arrived was quite inspirational and he even had a go on the drum – although he said he wouldn’t be any good he was ok,” added Alex.
Squadron boss, Flight Lieutenant Gary Richardson, said “To be a part of the Commonwealth Games is an amazing experience and I thank Newcastle City Council and We Are England. The youngsters have clearly enjoyed every moment of the occasion whilst performing their duties with impeccable precision and confidence and it was great to see some of the school children join the Guard of Honour and play in the band.”
The relay was launched by the Queen at Buckingham Palace last year and the Baton takes its final stop outside of Scotland this evening at Alnwick Castle, where pupils from across the region will play a game of Quidditch.
Longbenton Squadron is currently open to new members aged 13 – 18. If you’re up for a challenge then visit squadron at www.2344.org.uk.
For more information please visit the Squadron website