Queen’s Baton Relay Visits Bailiwick of Guernsey
18th September 2017
On Saturday 9th September, The Guernsey Commonwealth Games Association welcomed the Queen's Baton Relay to the island with a reception held at Beau Sejour. Local athlete, Alastair Chalmers, had the honour of presenting the Baton to Bailiff Sir Richard Collas as the Queen's enclosed message had reached the 45th nation on it's journey to the Gold Coast next April.
The accompanying QBR team gave the audience a interesting talk on the design of the Baton and the journey so far in the lead up to the Commonwealth Games due to be held in Australia. Members of the public were invited to hold the Baton and feel part of this special occasion as the evening also saw medalists from the Commonwealth Youth Games recognised on an evening of celebration. The OGH Hotel later hosted a welcome dinner for sponsors, officials and the QBR team.
Monday saw the Queen's Baton Relay tour 15 Guernsey primary schools, in a day which saw over 5000 children experience the worlds longest ever relay. Assemblies were delivered and coordinated by staff at the Guernsey Sports Commission which included a video montage of images showing the 44 other nations that the Baton had visited so far. Each primary school chose 2 children to represent the school as batonbearers. They had the important task of being presented with Baton, before travelling by mini bus to the next school in the relay. The school's was also fortunate to be joined by either a coach or aspiring Commonwealth Games athlete, who were able to share their story and answer questions from the excitied children sat in front of them.
'Everyone today was so excited. It is great that the Baton is so visual and it meant something to our pupils hearing about the different elements. The children with additional needs can see the colourful lights, and the others can understand the message of sustainability with the reclaimed plastic,' explained Head Teacher Paula Sullivan of Le Rondin and Forest Primary School.
Notre Dame Head Teacher, Peter McGovern was also full of praise. 'We hope the Baton’s visit leaves a lasting impression for the children to see athletes like Abi and think, ‘I can do that too, I want to succeed. So I think that’s the most important message to take away from today, it’s inspiration', he said.
On Tuesday morning the Baton set off on the lifeboat to the neighbouring islands of Alderney, Sark and Herm. Visiting the local community, visitors and school children, the Baton proved to be a very popular visitor to the islands. Special assemblies were also held in each island to welcome to iconic symbol of the Commonwealth Games.
The Queens's Baton Relay departed the Bailiwick of Guernsey on Wednesday bound for nearby Channel Island, Jersey.