THOUSANDS of schoolchildren from Northwich and Winsford are joining forces to celebrate the visit of the Queen's Baton ahead of the Commonwealth Games.

In a 'never-seen-before' collaboration, the youngsters will be taking part in a Schools Baton Relay - a week before the offical baton arrives in Northwich as part of its UK tour.

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

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.

Organiser Chris Story, partnership development manager of Vale Royal School Sport Partnership, said: "The partnership between schools in West Cheshire is unique and strong and I am stoked by what we have been able to organise for this relay with so many school pupils taking part.

"This is going to be an amazing event which we hope people can come out and enjoy and welcome the children along the road across the week and honk their horns.

"Considering the last few years which we have experienced, this marks a good time to say we are back together and collaborating.

"It is incredible the Queen’s Baton Relay is visiting Northwich. I remember the torch relays for the Olympics in 2012, when the number of people taking part was fantastic.

"We hope we get a lot of people to come and support and cheer on the batonbearers on July 17."

Winsford Guardian: Batonbearers in Samoa as the Queen's Baton tours the CommonwealthBatonbearers in Samoa as the Queen's Baton tours the Commonwealth

As the baton is passed to each school, a handover ceremony will take place when the schools present their own ‘pledge’, based on the values of the Commonwealth Games, committing to further participation in competitive sport and striving to achieve net zero.

The Schools Baton Relay starts at Rosebank School in Northwich at 10am on Monday, July 11, with its pupils running 0.1 miles to pass the baton on to Barnton Community Primary School who will then take the baton onto the next school to continue its onward journey.

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.

Councillor Louise Gittins, Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council, said: “Community spirit is strong in Northwich and Winsford and never more so than in our school communities who have collaborated wonderfully to run this event.

“We are looking forward to welcoming the Queen’s Baton Relay to Northwich and, in the week beforehand, I am sure residents will come out to support the children taking part in this huge relay.”

The mayor of Northwich, Councillor Graham Emmett, said: "I’m looking forward to the celebration and the wonderful collaboration between all the schools throughout our two towns and I’m certain everyone will be jointing in the celebration and marking it in their own way."

Each school taking part will receive a commemorative baton to go on display in the school along with a tree to be planted in the school grounds, to help in a small way in its efforts to achieving net zero.

Full list of schools taking part and the baton's 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