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The Queen's Baton Relay in Zambia: High Commissioner's speech

To celebrate the arrival of the Queen's Baton in Zambia on 27 January, the British High Commissioner James Thornton said;

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Queen's Baton welcomed by traditional dancers

Queen's Baton welcomed by traditional dancers

Commonwealth is a community of countries which, though very different, share same values. Games embody these values. Sport has a unique power to promote teamwork, fairness, respect and a sense of achievement – as well as good natured rivalry and competition.

It is about how we can use the Games to bring real and lasting benefits for all Commonwealth citizens in areas as diverse as trade, youth, tourism, sporting participation, physical health and volunteering. One of the outcomes of London 2012 was how it not only brought the nation together, but how it inspired and changed attitudes on diversity, inclusion and disability.

Relay is one way in which ordinary people throughout the Commonwealth are brought in touch with each other and the Games. I am pleased to be working with National Organising Committee to organise really a good Queen’s Baton visit to Zambia. I hope as many people as possible here in Zambia will be able to take part in the relay.

I am very pleased that the Scottish Minister for External Affairs and International Development has come to Zambia to accompany the Baton.

We organised London 2012 and it was great – state of the art facilities, best organised games ever, really exciting. Glasgow 2014 is going to be just as good. Scotland is no stranger to major sporting events, having hosted the Games twice previously in 1970 and 1986, while its unique sporting heritage – the Highland Games – are said to have influenced the revival of the Olympics at the end of the 19th Century.

Imagine Zambian officials will be looking closely at how we have done things in light of Zambia’s own bid to organise AfCon 2018.

I hope Zambia will be able to send strong team to the Games.

Published 29 January 2014