To carry the Commonwealth Games baton once is a great achievement – but octogenarian Brian Fowler has just done it again, nearly 65 years after he first carried it.
The 82-year-old runner, from Claybrooke Magna near Lutterworth, was selected, along with others across the UK, to carry The Queen's Message baton on its journey to Birmingham for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
Watched and cheered on by family and friends from his village and supporters from Lutterworth U3A, as well as local school children, Brian carried the baton on a lap of the athletics track at the Pingles Stadium in Nuneaton on July 21 before passing it on.
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As well being a keen fundraiser, Brian has played a key role in athletics his whole life and continues to run competitively. In 1964, he set up a Young Athletes Cross Country League and retains links with Barnet & District Athletic Club where his passion for running began.
Remarkably, it was the second time in his lifetime that Brian had been a batonbearer; in 1958 an 18-year-old Brian was among running legends such as Sir Roger Bannister who helped carry the baton on its journey to the Commonwealth Games in Cardiff.
Brian said: "It was an incredible honour to be one of only 2,022 people from across the UK selected to carry the baton in 2022. I don't know who nominated me, or endorsed me, but I was happy and thrilled to do it."
The cone-shaped baton contains, inside it, a message from Her Majesty The Queen to be read out at the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony, and also has a built-in 360 degree camera so people can follow its journey.
Brian added: "The best part was being among all those baton carriers who had been nominated for giving their time to do great things for their community; that was amazing."
In 2019, Brian scaled 5,895m to the top of Africa's highest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, for charity, and, for his next challenge, in October he will be abseiling down Derby Cathedral to raise money for the Rainbows Hospice for children and young people.
To sponsor Brian's abseil visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/brian-fowler