It will travel across the globe through the 70 nations and territories of the Commonwealth carrying a special message from Her Majesty the Queen, but the final lap of the Queen’s Baton Relay will be its last 40 days travelling the length and breadth of Scotland.
Commonwealth Games Scotland and Glasgow 2014 need up to 4,000 special people to be the batonbearers given the honour of carrying this unique symbol of the Commonwealth Games towards its final destination and the Opening Ceremony of the Games.
Yesterday (October 9) at Buckingham Palace in a simple but moving ceremony involving Olympic and Commonwealth legends, Sir Chris Hoy and Allan Wells MBE, Scottish athletes and young people from Scotland and the Commonwealth, Her Majesty The Queen placed Her message into the beautiful titanium and elm wood Glasgow 2014 Queen’s Baton.
Her Majesty’s message will form the core part of the baton which will travel throughout the Commonwealth and across the Home Nations before returning to Scotland and featuring at the Opening Ceremony in Glasgow on July 23, 2014.
Before it departed on its 190,000km, 248-day international journey, the Queen’s Baton was brought to Stirling, the heart of the country and home of Commonwealth Games Scotland, to launch an appeal for nominations for the batonbearers who will carry it through the communities of Scotland in June and July of next year.
From June 14, 2014 and for the following 40 days, the Queen’s Baton will travel to all parts of the nation, visiting every local authority area.
From the spires of Edinburgh to the peaks of the Highlands; from Border woodlands to island beaches, the Queen’s Baton Relay offers everyone the chance to be a part of the excitement, celebrations and countdown to Scotland’s biggest-ever sporting and cultural festival, the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Around 100 batonbearers will carry the baton each day with the relay reaching more than 400 communities during its 40-day journey.
The relay will reflect the important role sport plays in the community by visiting schools, sporting facilities and leisure centres and through a range of events and activities supported by the sportscotland Active Schools Network. The support is focused on encouraging communities to get behind Team Scotland, get involved with the Games and using its profile to get more people participating in sport.
From today (October 10) until 22 November anyone can nominate their own local champions to be batonbearers. To be a batonbearer, people are required to:
Be 12 years old or older at the date of nomination
Have made a positive contribution to the lives of others through community sport
Undertaken voluntary work or contributed to schools or youth organisations
Contributed towards greater inclusion for disadvantaged or marginalised sectors of the community
Been a role model or mentor to youth through sport
Displayed a level of individual achievement against the odds
Made a significant contribution to their local community
Nominations can be made online on the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games website www.glasgow2014.com
A Judging Panel including representatives from a wide cross section of Scottish community organisations will assist in selecting the successful nominations for each local authority area.
QBR-Stirling-Web-2.jpgLaunching the Queen’s Baton Relay Route and the nomination of batonbearers Commonwealth Games Scotland Chairman Michael Cavanagh said: “The Queen’s Baton Relay is the ultimate symbol of the Commonwealth Games and its arrival in Scotland gives an important signal to both the athletes and the public that the Games are just around the corner.
“As the host Commonwealth Games Association we are delighted to announce today the route the baton will take during its 40 days in Scotland next June/July and how the public can nominate worthy Batonbearers who make a significant contribution to their local community.
“The baton’s journey through the country is the ideal opportunity to celebrate community sport and recognise those local athletes selected for Team Scotland at Glasgow 2014. Get behind the Team and be part of the Games!”
Attending the event, Scottish Triathlete and World Junior Silver Medallist Marc Austin said: “I am really excited to be here today to see the Queen’s Baton and it makes me even more determined to be selected to compete for Scotland at Glasgow 2014.
“It will be a special moment when the baton visits my home city of Glasgow next year and I hope it will encourage everyone to get behind the Games and show their support for Team Scotland.”
Marc is a student at Stirling University, with TriathlonScotland also based on campus.
Later today, following events in Glasgow and at Glasgow International Airport the Queen’s Baton departs Scotland for Delhi – host city of the 2010 Commonwealth Games – from where it will visit EVERY nation and territory of the Commonwealth.
Over 248 days and 190,000km the baton visit all the nations and territories of the Commonwealth and it will be the first baton ever to visit Rwanda. The international journey of the baton will be captured by global adventurer Mark Beaumont who will report for The One Show, BBC Breakfast, BBC Radio 2 and BBC Radio Scotland, along with BBC News outlets, and online.
The baton will be relayed on its journey by Emirates, the Official Airline of the Queen’s Baton Relay and an official Partner of Glasgow 2014.