Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Queen's Baton Relay: CWG tradition

The Queen's Baton Relay, similar to the Olympic Torch Relay, is held around the world prior to the beginning of the Commonwealth Games.

The Queen's Baton Relay was introduced at the 1958 British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Cardiff. The relay begins at Buckingham Palace in London as a part of the city's Commonwealth Day festivities.

The Baton carries a message from the Head of the Commonwealth, currently Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The Queen entrusts the baton to the first relay runner. This year, the relay will start on 29-Oct.

At the Opening Ceremony of the Games, the final relay runner hands the baton back to the Queen or her representative, who reads the message aloud to officially open the Games.

The Relay for the 1998 Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia was the first to travel to other nations of the Commonwealth. Till then, the relay only went through England and the host nation. The 2002 Relay covered over 100,000 kilometers and went through 23 nations. The Baton Relay for 2006 Melbourne Olympics was most inclusive of all covering around 180,000 kilometers covering all 71 nations.


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