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Aug 2, 2017

The Queen’s Baton Links Belize to 2018 Commonwealth Games

The Queen’s Baton arrived in the Jewel today as it makes it way to Gold Coast in Australia in time for the 2018 Commonwealth Games. Here, it was met with much fanfare at the start of a relay covering ground in the City, to Orange Walk as well as the Chiquibul National Park. From here the next stop is another Commonwealth nation, Guyana, in a relay that will cover seventy nations. Duane Moody reports.

 

Kerry Thompson, Team Liaison, Queen’s Baton Relay

“It’s the longest relay in history; it’s traveling for three hundred and eighty-eight days to all seventy nations and territories of the Commonwealth, over two hundred and thirty thousand kilometers.”

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

Earlier this year, on the thirteenth of March, Queen Elizabeth the Second placed a message inside a uniquely shaped baton ahead of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games scheduled for April of next year. The Queen’s Baton touched down in Belize today over one hundred and forty days into the relay across member nations and territories.

 

Kerry Thompson

Kerry Thompson

“It’s past through eighteen nations of Africa, fourteen of the Caribbean and now it is in the Americas. So we just had a whirlwind trip through Canada to five different cities; one every day. We are heading to Guyana this weekend and on to the Falkland islands before we hand over to the next region in Europe. So when this message passes through the hands of everyone throughout the Commonwealth, it will arrive on the Gold Coast at Carrara Stadium on the fourth of April at the opening ceremony of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games when the message will be removed and it will be read aloud to officially declare the games open.”

 

The baton is designed by the host city, Gold Coast and reflects the people the place and the spirit of the city and in its form, it represents the past history, the present and the future.

 

Keri Algar

Keri Algar, Media Liaison, Queen’s Baton Relay

“The back of the baton is made from macadamia wood which is indigenous to the Gold Coast region and there is a cultural and indigenous significance. The middle section of the baton is stainless steel stringer; it is shiny and literally reflect our present like a mirror and so this is our present. And when you look closely, you see the three-digit alpha codes of every nation in the Commonwealth in sequential order. The front of the baton is made from reclaimed plastic and this plastic came from the oceans and the waterways of the Gold Coast beaches. We’ve got reclaimed beaches and we are very lucky so it took the designer some time to find enough plastic. The loop shape of the baton it captures the boundless energy of the people of the Gold Coast and the warm lights in the inside that you can see changing color; this is the warm spirit of the people of the Gold Coast and they are inviting you to share in the excitement of the games of the Gold Coast next year.”

 

And today athletes from the various associations joined in the excitement. The baton was first handed over to the cyclists at the entrance to the Philip Goldson International Airport and brought to Belize City where City Councilor Dion Leslie handed over the baton to members of athletics, volleyball and karate associations at the flag monument. It was then carried through the streets of the city to the House of Culture.

 

Hilly Martinez

Hilly Martinez, President, Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association

“It is the second time that it has been included in the Queen Baton and so Belize feels very proud and the organization feels very proud. It will be going to Cayo Caracol tomorrow. Today it will go through the city and Friday it goes to the Belize River Valley area, so try and cover as much of the country as possible.”

 

Giovanni Alamilla

Giovanni Alamilla, Asst. Sec. Gen., Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association

“Tomorrow morning we go to the Chiquibul and we have them visit Caracol. So we’ve asked FCD Rafael Manzanero to assist with us with logistics and he’s agreed to come onboard. We will actually unveil a plaque tomorrow because the Chiquibul and the Caracol area has been designated as the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy.”

 

The Queen’s baton will make a final stop in Orange Walk before it travels on Saturday to Guyana for that leg of the relay. Duane Moody for News Five.

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