The Big Baton Pass: how it went and what we plan next

In October 2023, we wrote a blog post called ‘The Big Baton Pass: hoping to change the way we mark World COPD Day in the future’ with the co-founders of the Big Baton Pass event. Our hopes for the Big Baton Pass event set the bar very high!

Before this event there had not been a coordinated awareness campaign on World COPD Day which brought together patients, healthcare professionals, foundations, and organisations into a single united, global event.

Organisers Russell Winwood and Ruth Barker hoped this was something that the Big Baton Pass event would achieve and that it would become an annual event successfully raising awareness of the global issue that is COPD.

Photo of the live pulmonary rehabilitation class being broadcast from New Zealand

Reflecting on the first Big Baton Pass event which took place on 15 November 2023, it feels that this opportunity is starting to be realised. Russell and Ruth, with the help of many, many individuals and organisations, pulled off the planned 25-hour live broadcast!

We brought together those living with COPD and healthcare professionals together from around the world, starting in New Zealand, with the baton travelling to Australia, Bangladesh, Uganda, Austria, England, Ireland, Brazil, Canada, and America.

Photo of the presentation being delivered from the site in Uganda

Support via X and behind the scenes on the day, and the ongoing conversations since the event have kept the momentum going, and Russell and Ruth have had the good fortune to have secured some funding to make the event bigger and more professional for 2024!

Russell and Ruth have been planning their strategy for delivering the second Big Baton Pass event on Wednesday 20 November 2024, and they plan to work with everyone who is interested in order to make sure they can grow the event and make it more polished.

Please keep your eyes out for posts on X, a newly commissioned webpage, an invitation for expressions of interest to be a Big Baton Pass host site, and most importantly, for the opportunity to be part of a community raising awareness of COPD globally on World COPD day 2024!

Collage of photos from Russell’s 24 hour treadmill challenge

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