Commonwealth Games baton honour for Boston Spa woman

Commonwealth Games baton carrier Claire-Maxted Wiggins of Boston Spa.Commonwealth Games baton carrier Claire-Maxted Wiggins of Boston Spa.
Commonwealth Games baton carrier Claire-Maxted Wiggins of Boston Spa.
A Boston Spa woman who made care packages for NHS worker has spoken of the emotions and pride at being a Commonwealth Games torch bearer.

Claire Maxted Wiggins last year gave out the treats to repay the hospital care given to her over 43 years and her kindness was rewarded with a nomination by partner Iain to be a baton carrier at Scarborough on Wednesday.

“My partner decided he was going to nominate me, as he was so proud of the work I had done through the pandemic, despite isolating due to my own ill health,” said Claire.

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“I got an email to say I had been nominated and that would be carrying the baton on July 13th, in Scarborough.

“I was very nervous but extremely excited.”

But it was not the first time Claire has had a relay honour for a major sporting occasion as she carried the London 2012 Olympics torch because of her charity work.

She said: “How many people can say they carried the Olympic torch and the baton for the Common Wealth games?

“I am extremely proud and honoured to have taken part at both events.”

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But Claire’s big day of carrying the baton at Scarborough was spoilt when her parents - mum Collette and dad Richard - and partner Iain, were sent to the wrong departure point by officials and missed seeing her walk.

“I got a phone call off my mum to say they were turned away by Commonwealth Games staff over confusion over my start post, so my family missed me carrying the baton. I was upset and so were they.”

But when she got to carry the baton, which was strapped to a clamp on her weak hand, she was encouraged along her painful walk.

“The police walking with me knew my family were not there and got all the crowds to cheer,” said Claire who has had a challenging last 12 months with ill health and was in hospital last week.

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“It was amazing - members of the public cheered and shouted, the police walking with took photos of me, which was lovely. I was so excited.

“The baton was tall and extremely heavy, heavier than the Olympic torch.

“I was nervous of dropping it and every step I took caused pain in my back and legs even though I had had my pain meds prior.

“The police walking with told me to take my time and kept asking if I was okay.

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“I walk with a permanent limp and unbalanced but I did it. I walked about 0.42 of a mile.

“At some point the police officer next to me held onto me so I was okay and they were there if I needed help.”

Claire, who said she was sore and in pain the following day, added: “I am so proud of my achievement and want to thank everyone for their support.”

The Commonwealth Games start in Birmingham on July 28.

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