The Queen’s Baton Relay, part of the tradition of the Commonwealth Games, will arrive in the Cayman Islands on Friday (5th August) for a four-day journey, as it makes its way through the 71 Commonwealth countries.
The Commonwealth Games are scheduled to be held in Melbourne, Australia in 2006. The Queen’s Baton carries a message from the Queen and comes with an escort, a policeman and is fully equipped with a camera inside and a GPS system.
During its time here, the H.E. the Governor Mr. and Mrs. Bruce Dinwiddy will host a reception at the Governor’s House on Saturday, 6 August. On that same day Cayman Islands Olympic Committee is planning an island long relay. The first leg of the relay will start off at the Governor house on Saturday morning at 8:30 a.m. then proceed through each district finally arriving at the Quincentennial Square at 3 p.m. with a ceremony. It is planned for the Queen’s Baton Relay to go travel to Cayman on Sunday.
The relay started at Buckingham Palace on 14th March and its journey through all the Commonwealth countries will make it the longest, most inclusive relay in history, surpassing the Olympic Torch Relays of Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004 and Manchester 2002 Queen’s Jubilee Baton Relay, said Secretary General of the Cayman Islands Olympic Committee, Mr. Carson Ebanks.
‘For the Manchester Commonwealth Games in 2002 the Queen’s Jubilee Baton traveled more that 100,000 kilometers in 87 days and visited 23 Commonwealth countries. This time around it is expected that the baton will travel to the 71 nations of the Commonwealth, or 180,000 kilometers in a year and a day. No other Games relay has visited all member nations,’ he said.
For the first time, more than 60 per cent of the Commonwealth nations will host their first Queen’s Baton Relay including the tiny island nation of Saint Helena off the coast of Africa and Niue in the South Pacific.
The relay ends at the Opening Ceremony of the Commonwealth Games, as the final runner hands the baton back to the Queen or her representative and the message is read aloud, signaling to the athletes the beginning of the Games.
The curved design of the baton takes its inspiration from the athletes arching forward as they strive for success. The lights on the front of the baton represent all countries of the Commonwealth that the Queen’s Baton will visit over its journey. The lights will illuminate as the baton arrives in each Commonwealth country, symbolizing the gathering of the nations at the four-yearly festival of sports and culture.
The high-tech tracking technology housed inside the baton enables all those interested to pinpoint the baton’s location via the internet through a special interactive online baton tracking device. The website address is www.melbourne2006.com.
After spending time in the Cayman Islands, the baton’s next destination will be Belize.