Steve Jackson, DASC Head Diving Coach, was one of the Batonbearers selected to take part in the Queen’s Baton Relay ahead of the Commonwealth Games 2022 starting in Birmingham on 28 July.
The baton was carried in a relay by 8 bearers through the streets of Darlington from Abbey Road School to the Market Square with Steve’s segment being along Duke Street. Local people including schoolchildren lined the route to welcome the baton.
It was met in the Market Square by the Mayor of Darlington, Anne-Marie Curry, who has been a DASC diving parent and committee member, and who was a Batonbearer for the Commonwealth Games in 1986 in Glasgow. Crowds in the Market Square were treated to an exciting demonstration of stunt riding by Team Extreme, and Steve joined them with the baton at the top of the ramp.
The Batonbearers have been selected because of their inspirational backgrounds and stories, and include those recognised for their contributions to their local community, whether that be in sport, education, the arts, culture or charity. As a diver Steve was a National diving champion, winning medals on the international stage. He has been involved in DASC for 30 years as a volunteer, coaching many divers of all ages and abilities including developing some who have gone on to be successful at international level. He has also mentored many to become diving coaches and has been involved in fundraising campaigns to develop diving facilities for DASC divers at the Dolphin Centre. He is a Senior National Diving Official and the Diving Advisor for the Northumberland and Durham area.
Steve said, “It’s an honour to be selected. I have devoted most of my life to the sport of diving with all of the life skills that it gives participants, and anything that helps the sport to continue is fantastic.”
The international route of the Queen’s Baton Relay spans an impressive 269 days, spending between two and four days in each nation or territory, covering approximately 90,000 miles (140,000 kilometres), with over 7,500 Batonbearers trusted with the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to carry the Baton in their community.As part of its 29-day journey through England, the relay spent two days in the North-East. It started at Saltburn Pier and then travelled to Redcar, Middlesbrough, Stockton, Darlington, was rowed up the River Wear to Durham, then Seaham with Day 1 ending in Sunderland. On the second day it took in South Tyneside to Northumberland. The route will officially end at the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games 2022 when the Queen’s message contained in the baton will be read.