Queen’s Baton Relay Arrived at Commonwealth Youth Games in First Leg of the Americas

By Gena Gibbs
Bahamas Information Services

NASSAU, The Bahamas – The Commonwealth Games Federation presented the Queen’s Baton at the Official Opening of the 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium, Tuesday evening, July 18, in an important moment of the Baton’s trek across the globe.

The Queen’s Baton started its relay on March 13 of this year, and at the opening of the youth games in The Bahamas was presented to Chairman of the Bahamas 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games Organizing Committee Wellington Miller as part of its 388-day trek throughout the Commonwealth of Nations. It will ultimately make its way to the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games to be held next year in Australia on April 4, 2018.

Chairman of the Bahamas 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games Organizing Committee Wellington Miller, right, received the Queen’s Baton from Commonwealth Games Federation Regional Vice-President for the Americas K.A. Juman-Yassin at the Official Opening of the games at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium, July 18, 2017 — comprising the first leg of the Baton’s trek through the Americas. (BIS Photo/Derek Smith)

According to Keri Algar, Public Relations & Media Operations Specialist of the Queen’s Baton Relay, the Baton has travelled through 18 different nations in Africa, making its way west to the Americas.

“Having arrived today [in The Bahamas] makes The Bahamas the first leg of the Americas section of the relay. It’s also the first time that the Queen’s Baton has made it to the Commonwealth Youth Games,” said Ms. Algar.

She added that the Queen’s Baton is about sharing the excitement of the races throughout the Commonwealth up until the games are held next year, and to inspire the athletes to reach the finish line. She said some of the athletes competing here will also be competing in the 2018 Commonwealth Games next year.

Historically, the first Commonwealth Games were held in 1938 in Canada. It has been a tradition for a letter from the monarch to be read out at these games, Ms. Algar explained.

BIS Writer Gena Gibbs interviews Keri Algar about the Queen’s Baton Relay. (BIS Photo/Derek Smith)

The Games held in Cardiff, Wales in 1938 were a game changer, in that it was the first time the monarch’s message was placed in a specially designed Baton and it was run in a relay of runners to the opening of the games.

The message was read aloud to officially open the games, making the Queen’s Baton Relay a tradition established in 1958, taking place every four years.

“Now the first Commonwealth Games where the Baton travelled outside the host nation, to all nations and territories, was actually the 2006 Melbourne Games,” said Ms. Algar.

Since then, the Queen’s Baton Relay has been relayed, traditionally, to all nations and territories in the Commonwealth.

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