Inclement weather could not stop Caymanian athletes from completing the Glasgow 2014 Queen’s Baton Relay, part of the lead up to the Commonwealth Games.
The relay began at the residence of Governor Helen Kilpatrick on West Bay Road before passing through each district in Grand Cayman. Governor Kilpatrick handed the baton on Seven Mile Beach to Cayman Islands Olympic Committee President Donald McLean to begin the relay through West Bay.
“It’s a real privilege for the baton relay to be here,” Ms. Kilpatrick said. “Cayman is a small country that punches above its weight in sporting terms. It’s a real inspiration for our athletes. It shows our athletes are capable of so much achievements.”
The baton would journey from West Bay to Stingray City before traveling through North Side, East End and Bodden Town, finishing in George Town. Watercraft, cycle, sailboat and horse were among the modes of transport used to supplement the traditional running. A number of local athletes took part, including Jet Ski world champion Roshad Goff, equestrian rider Jessica McTaggart-Guizio and track star Ronald Forbes.
Brett Fraser would join Cayman’s 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medallist, Cydonie Mothersill-Stephens, along with a host of athletes from disciplines such as squash and volleyball for the final leg, which arrived at Heroes Square. A reception featuring music from the Swanky Kitchen Band took place at Celebration Park.
Mr. Fraser said he was delighted with the relay incorporating Cayman’s sporting fraternity.
“It was a fantastic turnout. It’s always great to see such a big aspect of the Commonwealth Games, an icon of the Games, coming to a small island such as Cayman,” Mr. Fraser said.
“It unites us. We’re all from significantly different sports backgrounds, but we worked as one. It shows the strength we will have in numbers this summer.”
The XX Commonwealth Games opens in Glasgow, Scotland, on July 23 and runs until August 3. Cayman will send its largest team to date, with athletes represented across seven sports: athletics, boxing, cycling, gymnastics, shooting, squash and swimming.
The Commonwealth Games were first held in 1930, and like the Olympics, they are staged every four years.
Although there are 53 members of the Commonwealth of Nations, 70 teams participate in the Commonwealth Games since a number of British overseas territories, Crown dependencies, and island states compete under their own flag. The four Home Nations of the United Kingdom – England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland – also send separate teams.
The first Queen’s Baton Relay was staged for the 1958 Commonwealth Games in Cardiff, Wales, and has been a tradition ever since. The baton, which contains Her Majesty’s message to the athletes, came to Cayman from Kingston, Jamaica. The baton is hand-crafted and made of titanium, wood and granite.
Mrs. Mothersill-Stephens said on the whole, Cayman made a solid contribution in the build-up to the Games.
“I thought it went great,” Mrs. Mothersill-Stephens said. “I wished the weather was better, but I think the overall purpose of the baton being on island was accomplished.”