Sat | Aug 19, 2017

Queen's Baton arrives in island tomorrow

Published:Tuesday | July 4, 2017 | 7:00 AMRobert Bailey
Michael Fennell (left), former Commonwealth Games president, Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) second vice president Garth Gayle (second left), president Christopher Samuda (third right), first vice president Christian Stokes (second right), and secretary general Allan Beckford address the media at a press conference to announce the Queen's Baton Relay at the JOA's headquarters in Kingston, yesterday.

The Queen's Baton Relay, which contains Her Majesty's message, which will be read at next year's Commonwealth Games in Australia, is due to arrive in the island tomorrow.

Details of Jamaica's leg of the Queen's Baton Relay were announced at a press conference at the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) offices located at Cunningham Avenue, St Andrew, yesterday.

After arriving in the island on Wednesday, there will be a short reception at the Norman Manley International Airport involving Sports Minister Olivia 'Babsy' Grange, Mike Fennell, former president of the Commonwealth Games Federation, president of the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) Christopher Samuda and members of the British High Commission.

Following this ceremony, the baton will then be taken by six riders from the Jamaica Cycling Federation to Kings House where it will be received by Governor General Sir Patrick Allen. The baton will be accompanied by four representatives from the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) and a three member BBC crew, who will be filming the visit and broadcasting to the other 69 Commonwealth territories.

"I am feeling very confident, the arrangements are in place. Directors Garth Gayle and Raymond Anderson have everything under control," said Samuda.

"What we are hoping to do is to ensure that Jamaica understands the significance of the baton's arrival and its tour of the island. During the tour, we will be communicating the significance through the media so that Jamaicans will understand it is just not simply ceremonial but there is a meaning behind the arrival. Also, the message that the Queen will have in that baton that will be read that the opening ceremony," he said.

"I welcome it, it's certainly will also be platform for my team members to also exemplify what they have been articulating in the campaign, the valuables of sport, the interrogation of sport, the unity of sport, the social conscience of sport," said Samuda who was voted into office last week.

He added: "Its an opportunity for us really to articulate that which we have said in our campaign and to make Jamaica understand as well, that just how you embrace the sport, you have to also embrace before that, the integrity of it, and the principle of it."

After making its way around the island over a five-day period, the Queen's Baton will leave Jamaica for The Bahamas on Tuesday, July 11.