The countdown is on to the 2014 Commonwealth Games with more than 500 days to go. Barbados, as well as the other nations and territories of the Commonwealth, is gearing up for the Games in Glasgow and the festivities are now beginning since the announcement on Commonwealth Day of the International Sector Route for the Queen’s Baton Relay.
Hailed as the world’s most engaging relay, this iconic event spans 190,000 km across 71 nations and territories, over a period of 288 days. From Barbados to as far away as Singapore and Africa, the Queen’s Baton Relay is a unique element of the Commonwealth Games which unites the two billion citizens of the Commonwealth in a celebration of sport, diversity and peace. The specially designed baton, bearing a message from Queen Elizabeth II, head of the Commonwealth, will begin its journey on October 9, 2013, arriving in Barbados on March 10, 2014 from Grenada. It leaves on March 14 for St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
President of the Barbados Olympic Association, Steve Stoute, expressed his excitement about the upcoming Games and Barbados’ participation in the QBR.
“The Association eagerly awaits the visit of the baton in 2014. We are presently in meetings with the local federations advising them on qualification requirements for the Games and pledging our support for local athletes, including funding the qualification efforts. We look forward to celebrating Barbados on the global sporting stage and the BOA is committed to supporting our athletes in their endeavours.”
The relay also represents an opportunity for Barbados to link with other members of the Commonwealth. Lord Smith of Kelvin, chairman of Glasgow 2014, said: “It is a truly unique cross-continental relay which offers chances for trade and investment opportunities overseas and which connects Glasgow and Scotland to the Commonwealth, and invites the Commonwealth back here.”
According to the Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport, Shona Robinson, the relay is also a testament to the strong relationships that the participating nations and territories share.
“By visiting every nation and territory who will send a team, the QBR is a great example of why the Commonwealth Games are known as the ‘Friendly Games’ and we are sure that Glasgow 2014 can be the friendliest yet.”
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