The Queen’s Baton is in town and Monday morning during a 10k road relay, representatives of national federations, schools and prominent sports personalities passed the baton through districts in St Michael.
The baton relay started in March at Buckingham Palace and will travel on an epic 388-day journey through all 70 nations and territories of the Commonwealth.
It arrived for the Barbados leg of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games 2018 on Saturday and was met by president of the Barbados Olympic Association Steve Stoute and Commonwealth Games Ambassador and BOA board member, Sandra Osbourne.
Stoute said that he was pleased to welcome yet another baton to the island. ” The baton represents the coming together of people of different nations in peaceful, wholesome activity. Whether we are small islands or a continent, this symbol is a call-to-action to unite as one people. It is a privilege to host the baton, and I hope that Barbadians would capitalize on this unique opportunity to see the baton over the next few days,” Stoute said in a press statement.
However today the baton started its official journey with a ceremony at Governor General Sir Elliott Belgrave’s residence where it was handed over to Sir Elliott by Australia’s honorary counsel James Gardiner. In attendance were members of the baton escort team, various dignitaries and Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth Stephen Lashley.
Lashley said it was an honor to have the Queen’s Baton in Barbados especially with its level of importance to sports.
“It’s a distinct pleasure to be part of this ceremony, which heralds a symbolic gesture as we commence the move towards the Commonwealth Games. The baton has a lot of significance in terms of what it represents and also the history of the games. Barbados is always proud to be participating in these games and I have no doubt that we will represent our country well,” Lashley said.
After the ceremony Sir Elliott handed over the baton to Stoute who passed it to the first runner Colin Dick.
Students lined the streets to get a glimpse of the baton as it made its way through communities of the Pine, Government Hill, Ivy, My Lord’s Hill, Welches, Collymore Rock, Wildey and all the way to the finish at the Barbados Olympic Association headquarters.
Along the way the baton was handed over to present and past sports persons such as Olympians Alex Sobers and Jason Wilson and former Barbados and West Indies fast bowlers Charlie Griffith and Sir Wes Hall.
The baton leaves Barbados on Wednesday for Dominica. It will arrive on the Gold Coast for the XXI Commonwealth Games opening ceremony on April 4, 2018, where Queen Elizabeth II or a representative will remove the message from it and read it aloud to officially open the Games.