Former councillor Chris Furlong chosen as a bearer for the Queen’s Baton Relay

Date published: 19 April 2022

Former councillor Chris Furlong has been chosen as one of the bearers for the Queen’s Baton Relay ahead of the Birmingham Commonwealth Games later this year.

Chris found out he had been chosen on 13 April, after he was nominated for one of the North West positions.

Batonbearers have been selected in all nine regions of England, and reflect the diversity in communities across the country. Each batonbearer will carry the baton for a section of the route, with the North West carrying the baton on 16 and 17 July.

The relay began on 7 October 2021 during a ceremony at Buckingham Palace, where the Queen placed her message to the Commonwealth into the baton.

In total, the Queen’s baton will spend 294 days travelling to all 72 Commonwealth nations and territories, bringing together communities from across the globe in the run up to Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

The baton will first arrive in London on 2 June for a four-day celebration before heading off internationally again.

It will return to England on 4 July for a 25-day tour before concluding at Opening Ceremony of Birmingham 2022 on 28 July.

Chris, who volunteers for several local causes, will carry the baton on Saturday 16 July for an unknown distance.

The regular Army of Kindness volunteer said the nomination came as “a complete surprise” and he would like to thank whoever nominated him.

In total, 8,000 nominations were submitted during a public nomination campaign in January 2022.

Nominees had to hit certain criteria, including that they:

  • Are always willing to take on a challenge and has a unique and inspiring story
  • Have made a meaningful contribution to sport, education, the arts, culture, or charity
  • Are a figure of inspiration that positively challenges others to achieve their best
  • Have taken on a challenge or cause and made a positive impact within their community

The feat comes after Chris recently completed four half-marathons, raising an impressive £1,600 for the Middleton and Heywood Foodbanks.

The 13.1-mile races at Heaton Park, Cheshire, Aintree and Leeds had originally been scheduled for lockdown, but were postponed until 2022, meaning Chris tackled the first three races without any training. He completed the most recent, the Leeds Canal Canter, on 27 March.

The chair of the Back O’th Moss community centre explained he had trained before the original dates, but that this had fallen by the wayside as the country kept returning to lockdown.

Chris and his wife Kerrie also carry out deliveries for those in need.

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