The eyes of the Commonwealth will be on the TCI as the UK Overseas Territory hosts the Queen’s Baton Relay next week.
The Glasgow 2014 Queen’s Baton Relay is the curtain-raiser to the XXth Commonwealth Games and it will visit the TCI from 15-18 April 2014.
Over a period of 288 days the baton will visit 70 nations and territories, cover 190,000 kilometres and involve a third of the world’s population, making it the world’s most engaging relay.
The Relay is a much loved tradition of the Commonwealth Games and symbolises the coming together of all Commonwealth nations and territories in preparation for the four-yearly festival of sport and culture which takes place in Glasgow, Scotland, 23 July – 3 August 2014.
The Games’ opening ceremony will feature Her Majesty The Queen finally reading aloud Her message to the Commonwealth which she placed in the Baton at Buckingham Palace at the beginning of the relay in October 2013.
Magical memories are being created on this journey across continents, terrains and time zones. From Sydney Harbour Bridge to the forests of Rwanda; from Pacific Islands to the Rocky Mountains of Canada, the Baton will showcase each nation and territory in the Commonwealth.
The TCI is aiming to compete in three of the 18 Game’s sports – track and field, weightlifting and shooting.
Details of the TCI legs of the Relay:
The Baton party will arrive late afternoon at Providenciales International Airport (from sister Overseas Territory the Cayman Islands) on Tuesday, 15 April, where it will be met by the TCI Commonwealth Games Association, the Governor, Premier and Minister for Sport, before going on to a reception at the Seven Stars Resort.
The Relay will recommence on Wednesday, 16 April when the Baton relay tours Providenciales. Starting in the parking lot of the Sammy Bean Plaza, Downtown, the Baton will be escorted by groups from the 17 schools and the various sporting organisations cross the TCI.
The Relay will meet Islanders at each its handover points: Sammy Been’s Plaza (10.30am); Alice & Alice Plaza; Airport Roundabout; Blue Hills Roundabout; Hilly Ewing Building; Market Place/First Caribbean Roundabout; Misick & Stanbrook Office; Old Fedex Office; Price Club Grocery Store; Hibernian House; Courtyard Plaza; Suzy Turn Roundabout; the Fortis TCI building; TCI Middle school; Venetian Road Roundabout; Business Solutions, carried by the TCI Cycling Club; Bight Children’s Park; Coral Garden Resort, carried there by the TCI Sailing Association; Ianthe Pratt Primary School; Beaches and Beaches Key West Resorts; the Alexandra Resort; Regent Palms Resort; Somerset and Sibbone resorts (approximately 1.00pm). There will be a beach party reception for everyone involved in the Providenciales leg of the Relay at the Sibbone.
The Baton will arrive at the JAGS McCartney International Airport on the Islands’ capital, Grand Turk, on Thursday, 17 April. The first leg of the Relay will be led by former TCI athletes Rodney and Russell Cox, from the Airport to the Carnival Cruise Centre (9.00am). It will then go on to the Premier’s Office; the Lighthouse, carried by Levard Missick who represented the TCI in the 1998 Commonwealth Games; the Clock Tower; the Salt Museum (where it will arrive on horseback); the Island’s oldest Church, St Thomas’; to Mission Folly; and finally to the Parade Ground (approximately 12.30pm).
At the Parade Ground there will be a cultural celebration featuring the TCI Community College Dancers, the Trendsetters, as well as performance by the Boys and Girls Brigades, and the local Maskanoo group. The day’s celebrations will conclude with a farewell reception for everyone who took part in the Grand Turk leg at the Governor’s Official Residence, Waterloo, (approximately 1.45pm) before the Baton returns to Providenciales from where it will depart for its next destination, the Bahamas, early on Thursday, 18 April.
The Relay has (or will) visit the following Caribbean countries: Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & The Grenadines, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Caicos. Read more about the schedule of the baton on its journey here.
Some team TCI prospects
Some of the athletes who will be taking part in the Glasgow 2014 trials in early June 2014 and who are vying for places on the Turks and Caicos Islands Commonwealth Games are:
Long jump and 400 metres - Ifeanyichukwu Otuonye, won a bronze medal in the Long Jump in the 2011 Commonwealth Youth Games in Isle of Man. Ifeanyichukwu is studying and training at Kansas State University, where he is one of the top ten long jumpers in the USA. He will also compete in the 400 metres.
Air Pistol Shooting - Detective Richardia Missick of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force will compete in this event which involves athletes firing at stationary targets across distances ranging from 10 to 50 metres.
4 x 100m – Angelo Garland who lifted a bronze medal at the CARIFTA Games in 2012 and took part in the 400m at the World Athletic Championships in Russia last year. He trains at Texas State University.
High jumper – Kivarno Handfield who won a silver medal a the CARIFTA Games in 2012 and who previously represented TCI at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi in 2010.
Weightlifting – Michael Francois of the Royal Turks and Ciacos Islands Police Force who represented the TCI at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi in 2010.
100m, 200m and 400m – Courtney Missick who competed for TCI at the NACAC in Bogota in 2013 and who will take part in next week’s CARIFTA Games.
The Baton design.
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 lattice frame takes inspiration from Glasgow’s rich industrial and architectural heritage. State-of-the-art Direct Metal laser sintering was used to create its striking organic form, fusing together layers of pure titanium powder three hundredths of a millimetre thick with a focused laser beam.
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.