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Newham young mayor thrilled to carry Commonwealth Games Baton through Olympic Park

Young Mayor for Newham Jon Benett, 16
Photo: David Mirzoeff Young Mayor for Newham Jon Benett, 16 Photo: David Mirzoeff

Wednesday, May 28, 2014
8:00 AM

Not content with having already made his mark as young mayor, one teenager has also been selected to help make sporting history.

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Young Mayor for Newham Jon Benett, 16 Photo: David MirzoeffYoung Mayor for Newham Jon Benett, 16 Photo: David Mirzoeff

Jonathan Bennett is one of 12 Londoners given the unique opportunity to carry the Commonwealth Games baton through Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on Sunday, June 8.

The 16-year-old young mayor of Newham, currently taking his GCSE exams, said finding out he was going to take part was “exciting” and gave him a real sense of achievement.

“I’m definitely glad and appreciative that I get to do this,” he said. “It’s top of the list of things I have done as young mayor.”

Jonathan, of Gordon Street, Plaistow, said his stunned cousin refused to believe the news until she saw his baton bearer’s T-shirt. He added that fellow pupils at Cumberland School, also in Plaistow, were constantly asking him about it.

Elected as young mayor last September, the teenager said he hoped he could make a difference to others through his role.

“I think personally the reason I became the young mayor was to have the opportunity to make a difference,” he explained.

“I get questions all the time about what I have done and I don’t really know what to answer. I haven’t built a stadium but I have tried to help and add to other things that have already been done and try to increase them.

“My aim is to give the next young mayor the chance to build on it and a chance to succeed. It isn’t just about focusing on the now, it’s about the future as well.”

The one-of-a-kind baton has been through 70 Commonwealth countries over the last seven months. It arrived back on British soil earlier this month en route to Glasgow for the opening of the Games on July 23.

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