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Baton bearers confirmed for Dudley

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Dudley borough will welcome 35 Baton Bearers as part of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

The Queens Baton Relay will run from Wolverhampton to Brierley Hill on Sunday 24 July.

Professional ballroom and Latin dancer Amy Dowden has been chosen for her work running Art in Motion dance school in Dudley, which gives young people in Dudley the chance to practise performance arts. She is also a national household name for her appearances on BBC One’s ‘Strictly Come Dancing’.

Amy said:

I’m so honoured to be chosen as a bearer for Dudley, which is a second home to me.
I will carry the Baton as a cheer for the wonderful and flourishing talent that we have in Dudley borough, and I hope it will encourage more children and young people to take up sport and physical activity.

Councillor Shaz Saleem, cabinet member for public realm and a successful local businessman, has raised funds for many charities including Dudley Mind, Duke of Edinburgh, British Liver Trust, Russell’s Hall Hospital and Papayrus.

His adventurous fund-raising challenges have included skydiving, climbing Ben Nevis, zipwire and bungee jumping. He also runs KNWH Youth Club, Kuppa Club, has established the Wall Heath in Bloom movement and works very closely with the neighbourhood officers for the Speed Watch movement.

Councillor Shaz Saleem said:

It is amazing to hear about some of other Dudley bearers, it is a great privilege to be selected and I want to thank everyone in the local community for getting behind my charitable endeavours
I recently set up The Saleem Foundation in tribute to of my late grandfather, who was passionate about supporting people through local community issues, and he will be very much in my thoughts as I carry the baton.
Dudley Council is supporting the Child Friendly Dudley initiative and I hope the legacy of children seeing sport and the Baton relay will inspire many to take up sport and physical activity.

Other inspiring people taking up the Queen’s Baton in Dudley borough include health campaigner Haania Hussain, former fire service commander Andy Cashmore, former Olympic hockey star Jennie Bimson and dedicated fundraiser 12-year-old Imogen Shuttleworth, who is a dedicated charity fundraiser.

Medical student Haania Hussain has used her experience growing up with Asthma to improve young people’s experience of healthcare and has helped to create the National Bundle of Care for Children and Young People with Asthma. She is an advocate for youth voice and actively works to raise awareness of health inequalities faced by minority communities. She has also worked with the NHS Muslim Women’s network, to raise awareness of the issues Muslim women can face in the workplace.

Andy Cashmore from Lower Gornal sustained life changing injuries following a road accident in 2020. The 57-year-old Group Commander, who served at West Midlands Fire Service for over 27 years, was sadly forced to retire but has raised in excess £10,000 for the Fire Fighters Charity over the years. He was also part of a multi-agency response team who protected the Olympic Torch as it went around the UK, and at the Olympic sailing event in Weymouth in 2012.

Jennie Bimson grew up in Dudley borough and has competed in several high-level sporting events, including the Olympics in 2008. She has also represented England in three Commonwealth Games at Kuala Lumpur, Manchester and Melbourne, where she won two silver medals and a bronze. She played in 201 international hockey games during her 10-year career. Busy mum Jennie now lives in Wall Heath with her husband and five-year-old son.

Imogen Shuttleworth is a secondary school pupil in Stourbridge who has been a dedicated fundraiser for Birmingham Children’s Hospital since she was six years old. Her younger sister was admitted to the hospital when just five weeks old for an operation and subsequently had another operation two years later, which has inspired Imogen to raise over £13,000. Imogen’s sister now shares in the challenges.

For more information on the Commonwealth Games events taking place in Dudley borough this summer, including the cycling time trials and the Queen’s Baton Relay, visit the Commonwealth Games hub page.

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