London, July 18, 2017: Following much anticipation, the Queens Baton Relay today (Tuesday 18 July) arrived in to the Bahamas from the Cayman Islands, ready to celebrate the VIth edition of the Commonwealth Youth Games.
Approaching its halfway point, the Bahamas is the 34th nation on its epic journey across 70 Commonwealth territories, terrains and timezones.
It is the first time the Queen’s Baton Relay has coincided with the youth-focused celebration of sporting competition and international friendship.
Bahamas Commonwealth Games Association President Wellington Miller said they are looking forward to seeing everyone out joining in the Relay celebrations:
“This is a very special opportunity to see the Queen’s Baton and celebrate its journey through the Commonwealth. We have a great schedule of events planned, packed with opportunities for everyone to see the Baton across our proud community and also among the inspiring young athletes visiting The Bahamas for the Commonwealth Youth Games.
“The Relay will involve past and present athletes as well as local school children. It will also visit many of the landmarks that make our nation globally-renowned as a much-loved tourism destination and sail out in to our iconic crystal-blue waters.
We hope as many local citizens and young athletes as possible will come in to contact with the baton, as we make the most of its time with us in the Bahamas”.
The Relay will make a special appearance at the Opening Ceremony of the Commonwealth Youth Games, with the Queen’s Baton carried in to the stadium by young Bahamian athletes Shaquiel Higgs and Katelyn Cabral, accompanying Bahamas former, and first-ever, Minister of Sports, Kendal Nottage.
In a poignant tribute, Cyril, Scott, Erica and Tanya Robinson, the children of the late Thomas Robinson, the Bahamian track and field legend and Commonwealth gold medallist after whom the stadium is named, will also carry the baton.
From 19-23 July, the Baton Relay will visit a number of young persons’ community projects, cultural events and visit well-known landmarks such as Fort Montague, the Queen’s Staircase and the Straw Market.
The Baton will also engage with athletes and fans at the Youth Games Beach Volleyball and Road Cycling events (on 22 and 23 July respectively).
Commonwealth Games Federation President, Louise Martin CBE said:
“The Queen’s Baton is a powerful symbol of the next Commonwealth Games on Australia’s Gold Coast in 2018, and we’re thrilled to welcome it to the Commonwealth Youth Games. I’m sure it will make the athletes push even further in their competitions.”
After the Relay through the Bahamas, the Baton will travel to Bermuda to continue its 388-day journey to the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.
The international sector for the Queen’s Baton Relay is a joint initiative of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation in partnership with the Commonwealth Games Federation and locally with the Bahamas Commonwealth Games Association.
About the Queen’s Baton Relay
1. The Queen’s Baton Relay has been the traditional curtain-raiser to the Commonwealth Games since the 1958 Games in Cardiff, Wales. The Queen’s Baton carries a message from Her Majesty The Queen, as a call to the Commonwealth to come together in friendly competition at the Games.
2. On an ambitious journey to connect with the modern and diverse Commonwealth of today, the GC2018 Queen’s Baton Relay (QBR) will achieve two records: it will be the longest Relay ever, and the most accessible Relay to date.
3. The Relay started at Buckingham Palace on Monday 13 March 2017 – Commonwealth Day. At the commencement ceremony Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, placed Her message into the Baton and entrusted its journey to thousands of batonbearers who will carry it around the Commonwealth.
4. Travelling for 388-days through all 70 nations and territories and covering over 230,000 kilometres, the Relay will be the longest in Commonwealth Games history.
5. Following the 288-day international journey, the Baton will return to Australia for a 100-day domestic sector. The final Baton bearer will return the Baton to Her Majesty The Queen (or Her Representative) at the Games Opening Ceremony on 4 April 2018.
The message will be removed from the Baton and read aloud to officially open the Games. —- CGF