October 9, 2013, LONDON, ENGLAND (ISN) – Today, at a special ceremony held at Buckingham Palace, the Glasgow 2014 Queen’s Baton Relay began its 190,000-kilometre journey to 70 nations and territories. Joined by Commonwealth and Games dignitaries, Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II launched the worldwide journey of the Games’ iconic symbol, by placing within it her personal message to the Commonwealth.
Scottish sprint legend Allan Wells, winner of two Commonwealth gold medals and the 100m sprint title at the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games, was the first athlete to receive the Baton from the Queen and start it on its historic journey around the Commonwealth, calling the 4,500 athletes to Glasgow for the Games. Following its 288-day journey, the baton will return to the Queen at the Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony on 23 July 2014. The Queen will then remove Her message and read it aloud, officially declaring the Games open.
“Everyone loves the Queen’s Baton Relay, especially children”, said Commonwealth Games President HRH Prince Imran. “It brings with it a little of the excitement of the Games, and the unique magic of the Queen’s message. The Glasgow 2014 baton is a particularly fine design, one which reflects the wonderful creativity of the Scottish people and the natural beauty of Scotland. Wherever it goes it will also provide an excuse for a cracking ceilidh!”
The baton, designed by Glasgow-based 4c Design Limited, was crafted using elm, titanium and the granite used for curling stones, and serves as the symbolic invitation to Commonwealth nations and territories to attend the Games. At the heart of the baton is The Queen’s Message, inscribed on a parchment handmade in Glasgow using linen and plant fibre. The message will be scrolled and held in a transparent cylinder within a pure titanium latticework frame. For the first time, the message forms the visual core of the baton design – illuminated from within by LED lights, yet unreadable until the Opening Ceremony.
“The Queen’s Baton Relay is a great tradition of the Commonwealth Games and a wonderful opportunity for Glasgow and Scotland to share our culture and heritage with the citizens of the Commonwealth”, said Glasgow 2014 chairman Lord Smith of Kelvin. “The launch event at Buckingham Palace marked a real milestone moment for Glasgow 2014 as the QBR builds momentum towards Glasgow and Scotland’s moment on the global stage.”
The first region the baton will travel to will be Asia, and from there the baton will travel on to Oceania, Africa, Americas (south), Caribbean, Americas (north) before returning to Europe. The full journey of the Queen’s Baton is available at: http://www.thecgf.com/qbr/.
Canada will host the baton from April 27th to May 2nd, 2014, with details on the events, dates and locations surrounding the Canadian portion of the relay to be announced at a later date. The designated charity for the Canadian portion of the Queen’s Baton Relay will be UNICEF Canada. UNICEF recently announced an agreement with the CGF and Glasgow 2014, with the aim of raising funds in Commonwealth countries around the world, in order to inspire and enable children to be the best they can be.
“I am very much looking forward to welcoming the Queen’s Baton to Canada”, said Chantal Petitclerc, Canada’s Chef de Mission at the Glasgow 2014 Games. “It will be an opportunity to really bring the Games to life, just three months prior to the Opening Ceremony. It will also be a way for us to bring some of the joy and excitement of the Glasgow Games to Canadian soil, and share the Baton’s magic with thousands of Canadians, young and old.”