The Queen’s Baton for the Commonwealth Games 2014 arrives in India tonight following a grand launch by Her Majesty The Queen at Buckingham Palace 9 October. The Games are being hosted by Glasgow (Scotland) from 23 July to 3 August 2014.
In New Delhi, the Baton will be received by senior officials of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), among them Mr V K Malhotra, Acting President, Indian Olympic Association (IOC Recognised) and Mr Randhir Singh, India representative on the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and several prominent Indian athletes.
Humza Yousaf MSP, Minister for External Affairs and International Development for the Scottish Government, who’s India visit coincides with the Baton arrival, will be present. Mr Yousaf will undertake several business, cultural and diplomatic engagements during his six-day visit to New Delhi and Mumbai. He will meet representatives of government and investors across a range of sectors.
Minister Humza Yousaf said:
The Queen’s Baton Relay is an extraordinarily exciting part of the Commonwealth Games 2014. The Glasgow Games present an unrivalled opportunity for Scotland to create new relations and deepen friendships it already has with India and other Commonwealth countries across the world.
The whole of Scotland is gearing up for next year, when Glasgow takes centre-stage and we welcome the world to what will be the greatest ever Games. The Scottish Government is determined to capitalise on the social and economic opportunities of the Games to leave a lasting legacy for Scotland.
Through events such as the Queen’s Baton Relay, we can showcase to the Commonwealth why Scotland is a great country in which to live, study, work, invest and also to visit.
British High Commissioner Sir James Bevan will celebrate the Baton’s arrival at his Residence over the weekend. Scottish Minister Mr Yousaf, IOA officials, sportpersons and other dignitaries are expected to attend.
Sir James said:
I am honoured to welcome the Queen’s Baton Relay in India. It will encourage us to think about many of the core values of the Commonwealth. It will encourage us to promote the well-being of young people, in the spirit of equality and respect. It will encourage us to think about sustainable development and protecting the environment. And the very design of the Baton will encourage us to think about the Commonwealth values of openness and transparency, the bedrocks of democracy.
While in India, the Baton will travel to the Taj Mahal in Agra and India Gate, National Stadium and Qutab Minar in New Delhi. It will depart for Bangladesh on Monday 14 October.
The Commonwealth Games is an international, multi-sport event involving 70 teams from Commonwealth nations. The Games will play host to 4500 athletes and sell 1,000,000 tickets with the event aided by an army of 15,000 volunteers. This is the third time that Scotland has been chosen to host the Games.
The Queen’s Baton will cover more than 190,000 kilometres over 288 days – four times the circumference of the Earth – over 288 days before it reaches its final destination in Glasgow on 23rd July 2014.
The Baton embodies Glasgow and Scotland’s culture, history and innovation in its design and construction. At the heart of the Baton is the Queen’s Message, inscribed on a parchment handmade in Glasgow using linen and plant fibre. The message will be scrolled and held in a transparent cylinder within a pure titanium latticework frame. For the first time, the message forms the visual core of the Baton design – illuminated from within by LED lights, yet unreadable until the Opening Ceremony.
The Baton’s handle is made of elm wood sourced from the grounds of Garrison House on the Isle of Cumbrae – a tribute to Scotland’s natural resources. It was constructed using a boatbuilding technique called bird-mouthing, traditionally used to make masts for ships. Light, strong and durable, the handle was created by craftsmen at Galgael, a social enterprise that teaches traditional skills.
The Baton contains a granite ‘gemstone’ which will be gifted to each nation and territory. Housed at the very top of the Baton, it is released only by opening a clever puzzle mechanism. The gemstones, made of granite unique to Scotland, were sourced from Ailsa Craig in the firth of Clyde, crafted by Kays of Scotland, and embellished by jewellers from Glasgow School of Art.
Marcus Winsley, Director,
Press and Communications
British High Commission,
Chanakyapuri, New Delhi 110021
Tel: 44192100; Fax: 24192411
Mail to: Upendra.Singh@fco.gov.uk
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