THE Schools Baton Relay started this morning, July 11, and excited Barnton pupils were the first to kick off the momentous event.

Thousands of school children from Northwich and Winsford are joining forces in celebration of the visit of the Queen's Baton ahead of the Commonwealth Games.

Northwich has been chosen to host the 16th official Queen’s Baton Relay on July 17, ahead of the 2022 Games in Birmingham on July 28.

Between July 11 and July 17, pupils from 42 primary and secondary schools across Northwich and Winsford will be carrying a baton between each school on the total 47-mile route.

Northwich Guardian: The Barnton Primary School team. Credit: Vale Royal School Sport PartnershipThe Barnton Primary School team. Credit: Vale Royal School Sport Partnership

And Rosebank School in Barnton had the honour of beginning this journey.

The pupils ran 0.1 miles to pass the baton to Barnton Community Primary School, taking part in a special handover ceremony where they made a pledge based on the values of the Commonwealth.

The sun was shining down as pupils lined the playground for the handover, complete with up-beat music to get everyone in the feel-good spirit.

The Barnton Primary School team ran a celebratory lap to applause before continuing the relay to Little Leigh.

Northwich Guardian: Pupils lined the playgroundPupils lined the playground

Rosebank head teacher Rosemary Charlton said it was an honour for the school to start off the relay, and pupils had been learning about the relay and the Commonwealth in their assemblies in preparation for the big day.

She said: “We’re very proud to be the people to kick it off.

“The children were very excited, and they have been brilliant, all wanting to take part.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity for Barnton.”

Northwich Guardian: The baton handover at Little Leigh. Credit: Vale Royal School Sport PartnershipThe baton handover at Little Leigh. Credit: Vale Royal School Sport Partnership

The relay concludes on July 17 when the final school to carry the baton, Comberbach Primary School, will carry it to the Anderton Boat Lift to greet the arrival of the Queen’s Baton Relay.

The full route:

Monday, July 11

Rosebank 0.1 miles; Barnton 1.2 miles, Little Leigh 3.2 miles, Weaverham High 0.1 miles, Weaverham Forest 1 mile, St Bede’s 1.5 miles, Winnington Park 1.6 miles, Witton Church Walk 1.1 miles, Charles Darwin 0.8 miles

Tuesday, July 12

St Nicholas 0.8 miles, Greenbank 0.2 miles, St Wilfred’s 0.1 miles, Hartford Manor 0.3 miles, Hartford High 0.1 miles, Hartford Primary 2.7 miles, Cuddington 0.5 miles, Sandiway 2.6 miles, Whitegate 2.7 miles

Wednesday, July 13

Over St John’s 0.2 miles, St Joseph’s 0.9 miles, Hebden Green 0.7 miles, Oaklands 0.2 miles, Over Hall 0.8 miles, Darnhall 0.7 miles, St Chad’s 0.6 miles, High Street 0.6 miles, Grange 0.4 miles

Thursday, July 14

Winsford Academy 1.5 miles, Wharton 0.6 miles, Willow Wood 2.6 miles, Moulton 0.9 miles, Davenham 1.2 miles, Kingsmead 1.0 miles, Leftwich Primary 0.1 miles, The County High School Leftwich 1.8 miles

Friday, July 15

Rudheath SA 1.7 miles, Lostock Gralam 1.2 miles, Wincham 2.1 miles, Great Budworth 2.2 miles, Antrobus 2.1 miles, Comberbach 1.7 miles