Carrying the Commonwealth Games stick once is a great achievement – but octogenarian Brian Fowler has just done it again, nearly 65 years after first carrying it.
The 82-year-old runner, from Claybrooke Magna near Lutterworth, has been selected, along with others across the UK, to carry the Queen’s Message baton on her trip to Birmingham for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
Watched and encouraged by family and friends in his village and Lutterworth U3A supporters, as well as local schoolchildren, Brian carried the baton for a lap of the athletics track at Pingles Stadium in Nuneaton on July 21 before transmit it.
Along with being an avid fundraiser, Brian has been instrumental in athletics his entire life and continues to run competitively. In 1964 he established a Young Cross Country Athletes League and maintained ties to the Barnet & District Athletic Club where his passion for running began.
Remarkably, this was Brian’s second time in his life as a stick carrier; in 1958, 18-year-old Brian was among racing legends such as Sir Roger Bannister who helped carry the baton on his journey to the Commonwealth Games in Cardiff.
Brian said: “It was an incredible honor to be one of 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 stick has a message from Her Majesty The Queen inside to read at the Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony, and also has a built-in 360-degree camera so people can follow his path.
Added Brian, “The best part was being among all those stick bearers who had been nominated for volunteering their time to do great things for their community; it was amazing.
In 2019, Brian climbed 5,895m to the summit of Africa’s highest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, for charity, and for his next challenge in October he will be rappelling from the Cathedral of Derby to raise funds for Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People. people.