The Queen’s Baton Relay is set to commence its historic journey to the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium for the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games. The relay remains one of the greatest traditions of the Commonwealth Games, having been the curtain-raiser to every Games since 1958.
The Delhi 2010 Queen’s Baton Relay will commence from Buckingham Palace on Thursday 29th October, where Her Majesty will entrust the Baton containing her ‘message to the athletes’ to the baton bearers as it begins its journey around the Commonwealth. During its time in England it will be showcased at various high-profile sporting events including the England vs. Australia match at Twickenham on Saturday 7th November, where the England 7’s squad will parade the Baton. The hockey Futures Cup also features in the Baton's schedule; as does a trip to the Track World Cup Cycling Championships at the Velodrome in Manchester; and the English Open Table Tennis Championships in Sheffield.
The journey of the Baton will also allow local communities from across the country to participate in the preparations for the Games. Droitwich High School, Worcestershire will host the baton for the day, with badminton star Gail Emms leading the celebrations. The following day it will visit Birmingham accompanied by top gymnasts including Becky Downie and Emily Goring. A festival of athletics in Newham on Friday 6th November will end as Christine Ohuruogu escorts the Baton to the spectacular fireworks finale.
The Baton travels through all the Commonwealth nations – a historic journey that will cover a distance of more than 170,000 kilometers in 236 days. On its 100 day national tour, the Baton will visit every Indian state including the capital. By the end of the epic journey the Baton will have covered a staggering 190,000 kilometers in 336 days, one of the longest in the history of the Commonwealth Games.
Delhi 2010 will be the first Commonwealth Games in India and will provide a unique opportunity for India to showcase its skills, capabilities and culture on the world stage. Some of the world’s top athletes will be taking part, including England’s dual Olympic gold medalist Rebecca Adlington. After performing well in recent Games, the English contingent is expected to perform strongly once again.
For each Games, the host country designs a unique baton. The Queen’s Baton 2010 Delhi technology features include:
• The ability to capture images and sound as it travels throughout all nations of the Commonwealth
• The latest global positioning system (GPS) technology through which the exact location of the baton can be tracked on the XIX Commonwealth Games 2010 Delhi website
• Embedded light emitting diodes (LEDs) which will change into the colours of a country’s flag whilst in that country
• Text messaging capability so that anyone anywhere can send their messages of congratulations and encouragement to the Batonbearers throughout the Queen's Baton Relay 2010 Delhi
This is currently an exciting time for Commonwealth Games England and optimism will be high ahead of Delhi 2010. The organisation has recently undergone some profound changes; with a new brand, a new board and a comprehensive modernisation programme underway. The England team will head to Delhi to win, looking to build on the impressive England performances at past Games With just under a year to go the England team are looking for the country to be unite behind them. Their rallying cry ‘We are England’ brings together athletes, coaches, supporters and every Englishman who is proud of their nation.
Commonwealth Games England President, Kelly Holmes comments: “Excitement is now building towards the Games in Delhi next year and the Queen’s Baton Relay is one of the longest standing traditions of the Commonwealth Games. The Baton’s journey symbolises the unity and shared ideals of the Commonwealth Nations. This is a great opportunity for communities across England to be part of the Games preparations and really start get behind the England team as the build up to Delhi begins”.
For more information on the schedule for the Queen’s Baton Relay please visit www.weareengland.org.
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Commonwealth Games England is the organisation responsible for selecting and organising England's team at the Commonwealth Games. At the last Games, held in Melbourne in 2006, England were second only to hosts Australia on the medal table winning 36 gold, 40 silver and 34 bronze medals.
Sport England is a major funder of Commonwealth Games England.