THE Bahamas Commonwealth Games Association, the Commonwealth Games Federation and the Ministry of Youth, Sports & Culture have staged a “dazzlingly successful tour” of the Queen’s Baton through the streets of New Providence, in preparation for the XX Games, scheduled to begin on July 23 in Glasgow, Scotland.
The Queen’s Baton is a symbol of the Commonwealth Games, which tours all Commonwealth countries in preparation for each staging of the quadrennial Games and bears a sealed message from the head of the Commonwealth, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The message remains within the baton until it reaches its final destination at the start of the Games, when it is shared with all assembled for the Games.
The Queen’s Baton arrived in the Bahamas on Good Friday (April 18) and was formally greeted by local Games executives Wellington Miller, president of the Bahamas Commonwealth Games Association and Romell Knowles, the secretary general. Deputy Prime Minister Philip Davis greeted the baton at Lynden Pindling International Airport on behalf of the government.
The baton was accompanied to the Bahamas by Louise Martin, honourary secretary of the Commonwealth Games Federation and a purpose dedicated team of Commonwealth Games officials, including a special crew from the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).
After the formal airport greeting, the baton was toured through the streets of Nassau by relay teams of Commonwealth Games athletes from the Bahamas, accompanied by junkanoo musicians and dancers, terminating in a welcome ceremony at the Kendal GL Isaacs Gymnasium in the Queen Elizabeth Sports Centre.
Knowles thanked the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture for its leading role in welcoming the Queen’s Baton to the Bahamas and promised an “exciting, competitive Team Bahamas” to represent the country at the XX Games.
On Saturday, April 19, during a formal reception for the baton at Government House, Miller formally presented the baton to Sir Arlington Butler, past president of the Bahamas Commonwealth Games Association, to Dr Larry Davis, past secretary general, and to Tanya Robinson, daughter of Bahamian track and field legend Tommy Robinson.
“The Bahamas has a long history of participation in the Commonwealth Games,” Miller said. “Once our country sent but one athlete to the Commonwealth Games, the late and great Thomas A Robinson. We are most proud today to present his daughter with this Queen’s Baton.”
Miller told Bahamian athletes, sporting federations and associations gathered at Government House for the reception: “We in The Bahamas Commonwealth Games Association remain exceedingly proud that it was our own past president Sir Arlington Butler who was instrumental in promoting the name change from the British Commonwealth Games to just the Commonwealth Games as it is known today. We can all agree that this makes the Games more easily owned by all.”
Bahamas Commonwealth Games Association vice president Roy Colebrook has again been named as the chef de mission for Team Bahamas travelling to the 2014 Glasgow, Scotland Commonwealth Games after a successful outing as chef de mission to the last Commonwealth Games in Pune, India, in 2010.