Queen's Baton Relay: Stratford Upon Avon

Leamington C&AC handed over the Queen's Baton to Stratford Upon Avon AC during the Commonwealth Games Queen's Baton Relay in Stratford.

Les Barnett from Leamington C&AC is also the England Athletics Services to Athletics volunteer award winner from last year. He said,

“I’m still coaching at the age of 80 and on 7th July celebrated 60 years of marriage. I was nominated by Great Britain International Athlete, Sue Harrison, who went to Stratford Girls’ Grammar School. I am still coaching Sue 35 years later and seen her win titles and medals at all levels from club to World Championship level.

Les started athletics in 1959 but only at local police level and then joined Leamington in 1967 as a sprinter. He won the first of his three Warwickshire AAA 400m titles in 1971 and the first of five national police titles in 1972. He ran for the club, Warwickshire, Midlands and the national police team in the UK and Europe at 400m and 4x400m relay, then became a coach in 1974. He's a retired police inspector with 33 years in Warwickshire Police, including three at Stratford (1980-83).

“Being given the honour of carrying the Queen’s Commonwealth Relay Baton is a proud moment for me, my family and my club.”

Les handed the baton on to Paul Hawkins of Stratford AC. Paul told us:

“I’ve been chairman for 21 years and I am very proud to be nominated by the athletic club. I started coaching in 1990 and became more and more involved. I specialised in race walking and that will help me with my part of the baton relay which is in Bridge Street and I’ve got all the kit ready.”

The photo shows Les passing the baton to Paul. Photo taken from Stratford Herald Facebook.

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