Comic Relief fundraiser paralysed after a cycling accident will carry Commonwealth Games baton through Hemel Hempstead

Rae will hold the baton through Hemel Hempstead tonight (July 8).

A man who was paralysed after a cycling accident has been nominated by Sport Relief and selected to take part in the Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay for his fundraising efforts.

Rae Saleem is to carry the baton through the Water Gardens and Old Town, ending in Gadebridge Park at 6.30pm.

The father-of-three was paralysed from the neck down after the incident in 2017 and since has begun his recovery.

Rae Saleem will carry the baton through the Hemel Hempstead.

Rae has taken on a series of physical endurance challenges to raise money for Comic Relief, including an 82-mile quadrathlon in his local gym.

He said it is a real honour to carry the baton and he hopes to be a beacon of hope after being told that he would not be mobile again.

Rae said: “Not so long ago, I was in a bed not able to move, reliant on three carers after being told I would never walk again. Now, after my recovery and nearly five years on, I am able to represent Sport Relief by carrying the Baton in the Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay.”

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Rae, who is from Potters Bar, added: “Sport has been a huge driving factor for me while coming back from my accident, and it contributed so much to my life. I want to inspire people, because if I can learn to walk again and then run a complete marathon, you can do anything.”

Samir Patel, Chief Executive of Comic Relief, said: “It’s a huge honour for Rae to be a part of the Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay and we are so proud of him.”

He added: “This Relay not only marks the start of an incredible summer of sport, but it is also an example of how sport has the power to unite and connect people across the UK and the globe.”

The baton has visited all countries and territories in the Commonwealth and will make its way to King's Lynn after its stop in Hemel Hempstead ahead of its arrival in Birmingham for the opening ceremony of the 2022 Commonwealth Games on July 28.