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GL events UK is thrilled to announce the first of its Batonbearers for the Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay journey through England, taking place in the build up to the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. Due to their interest in sport, Birmingham-born Molly is a qualified Personal Trainer and was a British Para Snowsport Skier from 2015 to 2020, until the COVID-19 pandemic hindered their involvement. Yet alongside their success, Molly has endured a challenging journey in terms of their health.

Born at 23 weeks, Molly was given only a 6% chance of survival. They stayed in hospital for over 100 days, undergoing procedures including a heart operation, blood transfusions and an eye operation. Remarkably, their weight was only 1.5 lbs, which only increased to 3 lbs by the time they were discharged from hospital. Born with small kidneys, Molly’s doctor predicted that they’d be unable to walk and may even end up completely blind.

During their time in hospital, it was also identified that they had cerebral palsy. This affects their right-hand side meaning they have spent their life one-handed with only the use of their left side. Molly reveals resilience pertaining to their health journey, “Despite my health struggles, I’ve always wanted to live my life to the full and sport has been a big part of that. During childhood, I spent time partaking in a range of different sports, particularly swimming and cycling. Now, at 22 years old, I continue to be committed to sport and appreciate the benefits it can bring both for my physical and mental wellbeing.”

It was for these reasons that Molly has been put forward as a Batonbearer for Birmingham 2022. They have a passion for sport and keenness to introduce both disabled and able bodied individuals to these benefits. “Sport gives me that natural adrenaline rush that makes me feel free. For example, when I’m skiing, it makes me feel completely liberated. This allows me to use sport as a relief from stress, to support good mental health and other issues.

“No matter what your abilities are, sport should be accessible to everyone to aid good physical and mental health. It doesn’t need to be anything vigorous. It could be as simple as a walk, but even that could change people’s lives. Personally, I have had experience of the benefits of sport for mental and physical wellbeing, as well as confidence and self-esteem, so I would always like to encourage others to take up sport for the opportunity to feel those benefits too.”

Molly doesn’t hesitate to show their passion for the Games. “It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to have the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games being held in the city I grew up in. I’m really looking forward to it. Consequently, to be given the opportunity to become a Batonbearer for the Queen’s Baton Relay is incredible. I think the Commonwealth Games is a symbol for being able to do anything within sport. It can demonstrate to people that you can have high level athletes that are doing their sport, but sport is open to everyone, and it can really benefit people.”

I would like to encourage people to give sport a shot, you might be surprised at how fantastic you’ll feel afterwards!

Molly GriffithFormer British Para Snowsport Skier and Personal Trainer

GL events UK wishes Molly every success with their sporting endeavours and as a Batonbearer for the Queen’s Baton Relay. For more updates on some of the incredible individuals and organisations that GL events UK has been working with throughout the course of its social value programme, click here.