Home Lifestyle and what's onBorough of Culture Queen’s Baton Relay to kick start a week-long celebration of sport in Knowsley
Knowsley Sporting Legends Relay 18 - 21 July 2022

Queen’s Baton Relay to kick start a week-long celebration of sport in Knowsley

by Alison Cornmell

Hot on the heels of the launch of the Owl & The Pussy-Cat trail, Knowsley has announced details of another major event for the borough this summer.

Following confirmation that Knowsley will be hosting the Queen’s Baton Relay in July 2022, it has now been confirmed that the baton relay will actually kick start a week-long celebration of sport across Knowsley – as part its Borough of Culture events programme.

From 18 July to 23 July, the Knowsley Sporting Legends Relay will travel the length of Knowsley with support from local communities, sporting groups, local sportspeople and even the odd famous face.  And what better place to start and finish the relay than at Finch Farm in Halewood home of Everton FC’s training ground and in Kirkby where Liverpool FC recently opened their AXA Training Academy.

Getting the relay started in Halewood on Monday 18 July is Liverpool FC legend and local lad Steve McMahon. He said:

“I am absolutely thrilled to be involved in the Sporting Legends Relay. Sport, not just football, is so important to people here and really is something to be celebrated. It is part of who we are and many of my memories of growing up here are around sporting moments I shared with other children, kids from school and my family. Sport is a great connector of people, and I am so pleased that Knowsley is recognising what an important part of our culture it is.”

“The week will offer lots of fun activities and I would urge people across the borough to get involved in one of the fabulous relay activities in your area.”

Steve will be joined by Everton Ambassador Ian Snodin, who added: “It’s a great pleasure to be a part of the launch of the Sporting Legends Relay, alongside Steve.

“We all know how important sport is in so many people’s lives and to see this come together in such a show of unity is something Knowsley should be proud of.”

Over the course of a week, young and old will travel across the borough showcasing their sport and celebrating the many ways in which sport connects communities and creates shared memories for all. There will be lots of opportunities for local residents to get involved – either in sporting activities or cheering along their neighbours and friends who may be taking part.

Knowsley certainly has more than its fair share of sporting greats and some might even pop along to give an extra special feel to the celebrations.

Cllr Graham Morgan, Leader of Knowsley Council commented:

“The Sporting Legends Relay is such a brilliant event for Knowsley and really reflects what an important role sport plays in all our lives.

“This week-long celebration will be a great chance for people to come together, get outdoors and get involved. There are lots of ways people can support these events from taking part in the relay itself to trying out a new sport or joining a local club. And throughout the entire week there are lots of opportunities for individuals and families to just come along and have fun, which is great.”

The schedule for the relay will take in towns and villages from south to north of the borough with special moments along the way. Here are some highlights from the plan but all of the details are available on www.cultureknowsley.co.uk

Monday 18 July – DAY 1 – The Grand Depart – ‘Toddle Off’  

Liverpool FC Legend Steve McMahon will set off from Everton’s Finch Farm where he will make his way to Halewood Leisure Centre for 11am. There, he will be joined hundreds of little people as he takes to the track for a mass ‘toddle’ to get the relay off to what will be the ‘cutest’ start possible. There may be a few tears and there’s bound to be dribbling – but not in the footballing sense!

From here, the relay will travel through Halewood onto the Halewood Environment Centre where runners will complete a final 1-mile relay up and down Halewood’s loop line.  

Any local nurseries, pre-schools or reception classes interested in taking part – or anyone who wants to pop along with their little ones – should register their details online.

Tuesday 19 July – DAY 2 – ‘On your bike mate’
After making its way from Halewood, the relay on Day 2 will take in Holy Family Social Club in Cronton where community-based cycling scheme Pedal Away will take their turn on the Tour of Knowsley.  The baton will travel to Stadt Moers Park where everyone is invited to take part in a huge community bike ride. Whatever your ability might be, if you have two wheels then why not come along? Groups, families and individuals can all take part anytime between 5pm and 6.45pm and cycle for as long or as little as you wish. Spectators are also welcome to cheer along the riders.

Individuals, families or groups wishing to take part in the community bike ride should register their details online.

Wednesday 20 July – DAY 3 – Half-time happenings
As we reach ‘half-time’ in the relay the baton will make its way from Stadt Moers Park, onto Bowring Park Golf Club. Here, runners will take in a lap of the historic course before moving on to King George V playing fields which will have been transformed into a mini sporting village with a variety of sports and activities to try out between 3pm and 6pm.

While the community is joining in the sporting fun a small group will push on to Knowsley Leisure & Culture Park to meet the Huyton Boys – a group of local lads who in 1971 won the English School Boys FA Trophy and are now celebrating the rich footballing heritage of Knowsley in a special exhibition.

Thursday 21 July – DAY 4 – Wild about walking

A slightly slower paced Day 4 starts at Knowsley Leisure & Culture Park and moves towards Carr Lane Woods where a FREE 3-mile Heritage Walk around Prescot will begin at 11am. This will take in many of the town’s historic buildings and prominent landmarks along with a close-up view of the new Shakespeare North Playhouse, before arriving at Prescot Soccer Centre around 1pm.

Anyone interested to take part in the Heritage Walk need to register online to secure a place.

 Friday 22 July – DAY 5 – Friday Fun!

As the end of the week arrives the relay will travel from Prescot Soccer Centre to Knowsley Leisure & Culture Park (KLCP) to meet a variety of sporting clubs from the borough for an afternoon full of fun.

Everyone is invited to gather at KLCP to see the vast array of sports on offer and even take part in a family bike ride at the velodrome. There will also be some impressive stunt shows, cycling workshops and other demonstrations alongside a community BBQ. This FREE event will run from 3pm until 7pm and everyone is welcome.

 Anyone interested to take part in the family bike ride just needs to have their own two wheels and register online in advance.

Saturday 23 July – DAY 6 – Super Sports Day!

The relay will begin its last day at Kirkby High School and proceed onto Eddie McCardle playing fields – just adjacent to Liverpool FC’s AXA Training Ground. There, the whole community – along with more than 100 local dancers – will come together in a huge FREE Sports Day (12noon to 6pm).  With ‘It’s a Knock out’ style games, dedicated kids’zone, taster sessions from local sports clubs, and live music there will be plenty of free fun for everyone to enjoy. There will also be two amazing dance performances choreographed by Grace Goulding supported by the iconic Jeanefer Jean Charles who has previously worked on events such as the London Olympics, world cups and Commonwealth Games.

This huge celebration of sport will top off a fantastic week of free fun for everyone!

The Sporting Legends Relay has been organised as part of Knowsley’s year as the Liverpool City Region Borough of Culture with support from Pennine Events.