Congratulations to Commonwealth Games Baton-bearer Kelda Wood!

The Commonwealth Games are nearly with us and we were delighted to hear the news that Kelda Wood has been chosen as a baton bearer for The Queen’s Baton Relay which precedes the event.

We have been working with Kelda and her charity Climbing Out for many years. The work they do is fantastic so for Kelda to be honoured in this way is well-deserved recognition for all she and her wonderful charity continues to do for so many people.

The amazing work of Climbing Out is accomplished in several ways, including the successful five-day outdoor activity programmes and walk and talk days – all designed to support people in regaining their confidence, self-esteem and motivation and getting their lives back on track after really challenging experiences.

Major honour

The baton bearer honour is only given to people who are always willing to take on a challenge and have a unique and inspiring story. This applies to those who have made a meaningful contribution to sport, arts or charity, are a figure of inspiration who positively challenges others to achieve their best, and have taken on a cause that has made a positive impact within their community.

Kelda certainly fits the criteria and was understandably pleased with her selection, taking to Facebook to say: “Super, super, super, super, super, chuffed and proud to have been selected as a baton bearer for the Commonwealth Games this year. I never managed to get to any Games as an athlete, so I’m SOOOOO excited about doing this! Thank you Beth Heath, Sarah Kerr and Dean Harris for the nominations.”

Busy times

We caught up with Kelda to pass on our congratulations and ask her to give us her thoughts on being selected and to tell us a bit more about what is going on with Climbing Out. She said:

“Being selected as a baton bearer is awesome and I’m truly chuffed to bits. It was always a childhood dream to be part of a major games and this is certainly the next best thing. It’s a real privilege and I’m really thankful to those people who nominated me. I will be doing my part of the relay on July 18th in the West Midlands.”

“In terms of Climbing Out, we are so busy right now. There is so much going on, we are right in the thick of our programmes and are also looking forward to our charity ball on May 21st.

“More people are coming through the programmes than ever and we are now doing a lot of work to support the emergency services and the NHS – which is real growth for us. It’s busy and very exciting!

The ability to adapt

“The relay baton honour is a great opportunity to keep raising awareness about Climbing Out and also to show that setbacks can lead to good things because none of this would be happening if I hadn’t had my leg injury.

“Climbing Out kept going through Covid and the pandemic actually demonstrated what the charity is all about – the ability to react to whatever is thrown at you. We adapted the support we offered, and did a lot of online workshops, videos, podcasts and one-to-one support, all things which strengthened us as a charity.

“It has enabled us to reach a lot more people who didn’t know about Climbing Out. We had more time to network and learn how to use Zoom, videos and podcasts. Climbing Out is in a really good place as we continue to strengthen, develop and grow.”