The Commonwealth Games 2022 have officially started following a spectacular opening ceremony on Thursday night.

Now, athletes across the UK are hoping to secure a medal and showcase their various skills and talents to the rest of the world.

And putting Lancashire firmly on the map are sporting heroes from across the county, who will be representing England at the event and will be competing in athletics, judo, swimming and beyond.

Here is a full list of the Lancashire athletes taking part:

Nathon Burns, Blackburn

Sport: Judo

Lancashire Telegraph: Nathon BurnsNathon Burns

Blackburn lad, Nathon, will be representing Northern Ireland at the games this year.

At 33, Nathon is the oldest member of the squad but has plenty of knowledge and experience, previously competing in the Europeans and World Championships.

He won a bronze medal at the Montreal Grand Prix in 2019.

The former Our Lady and St John High School pupil left home at 16, spent 18 months in the Midlands before joining Camberley Judo Club in Essex where he spent 11 years.

Tom Hamer, Rawtenstall

Sport: Para-swimming

Lancashire Telegraph: Tom HamerTom Hamer

Twenty three-year-old Thomas Hamer is from Rawtenstall in the borough of Rossendale.

He is an S14 para-swimmer, meaning he has an intellectual disability.

This typically leads to the athletes having difficulties with regards to pattern recognition, sequencing, and memory, or having a slower reaction time, which impact on sport performance in general.

He is prepared for success in para-swimming having won medals at Paralympic, World, European and Commonwealth level. 

The first swimmer to represent Team England in the S14 intellectually impaired category, he won silver at Glasgow 2014 in 200m freestyle and upgraded that to gold four years later, setting a new world record in the process. 

He competed in Rio back in 2016 when he claimed two silver medals in the S14 200m Freestyle and SM14 200m Individual Medley.

His second Games appearance in Tokyo was brought to an end by a back injury.

Anna Hopkin, Chorley

Sport: Swimming

Lancashire Telegraph: Anna HopkinAnna Hopkin

Twenty five-year-old Anna is hoping to secure a medal at the Commonwealth Games.

She made headlines last year after setting a new British record in the Women’s 100m Freestyle at the Tokyo Olympics.

Her medal-winning journey began with a first national title in the 50m freestyle in 2017 before earning a bronze on the global stage at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games a year later. 

She has also claimed Olympic gold as part of the 4x100m mixed relay team.

Her time in the pool began at a very young age and she joined the Chorley Marlins swimming club at the age of eight, progressing to the elite squad, Gallica, where she remained for three years.

Afterwards, she trained full time with the Blackburn Centurions Swimming Club - a club she says had a huge impact on her swimming journey.

Fliss Pickard, Burnley

Sport: Para-table tennis

Lancashire Telegraph: Fliss PickardFliss Pickard

Fliss, 28, was born with cerebral palsy but hasn’t let that stop her from achieving her sporting dreams.

She started playing table tennis aged 14 while volunteering at Hyndburn Table Tennis Club.

Pickard will compete in her second Commonwealth Games having competed for Team England on the Gold Coast in 2018, reaching the semi-finals before losing to the class 10 Nigerian Faith Obazuaye and then losing her bronze medal match to another class 10 athlete Andrea McDonnell from Australia.

Women’s class 6 World bronze medallist in 2018, she will once again face tough opposition in the women’s class 6-10 singles against athletes from higher classes but is looking forward to the challenge.

Olivia Broome, Chorley

Sport: Para-power lifting



Olivia has been power lifting since the age of 15 and has since found success on the world stage.

The 19-year-old has already won a Paralympic bronze medal from Tokyo last year and a silver at the World Championships. 

Broome also holds the junior world record for the under-50kg category.

Georgina Nelthorpe, Burnley

Sport: Wrestling

Lancashire Telegraph: Georgina NelthorpeGeorgina Nelthorpe

Georgina Nelthorpe, 25, fell in love with wrestling while living in Canada for nine years

She won a medal at her first international competition, the Sassari International in 2017, and secured another at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Holly Bradshaw, Chorley

Sport: Athletics, pole vault

Lancashire Telegraph: Holly BradshawHolly Bradshaw

Holly Bradshaw, 30, claimed Britain’s first ever Olympic medal in the pole vault when she won bronze at the Tokyo Olympics last year. 

The star is currently fourth in the world rankings and has secured a personal best pole cault of 4.90m, a national record, which she set in Manchester last June.

She is hoping to do her East Lancashire club, the Blackburn Harriers, proud.

Jessica Judd, Rochford-born member of Blackburn Harriers

Sport: Athletics, 5,000m and 10,000m

Lancashire Telegraph: Jessica JuddJessica Judd

While not from Lancashire itself, Jessica is still representing East Lancashire athletics club, the Blackburn Harriers  - so we'll still be cheering her on.

Jessica just missed out on a Commonwealth medal in 2014 but returns eight years later hoping to come home victorious.

Jessica came fourth in the 800m in Glasgow, but arrives in Birmingham with her eyes fixed on the 5,000 and 10,000m titles.

The PhD student recently set a new personal best of 14:57.19 over 5,000m.

Natalie Metcalf, Barrowford

Sport: Netball

Lancashire Telegraph: Natalie MetcalfNatalie Metcalf

Natalie, 29, is a three-time Vitality Netball Superleague winner.

As team captain, she is hoping to help England retain their Commonwealth Games gold medal.

She made her international debut against Trinidad and Tobago in 2015 and has since won medals at the Netball European Championships and the Vitality Netball World Cup. 

Her most memorable moment on the international stage is helping England to their first Commonwealth Games gold medal on Australia's Gold Coast back in 2018.

Watch coverage of the Commonwealth Games 2022 on BBC One from Thursday 28 July to Monday 8 August.