North-east of Venezuela, just off the mainland of South America, lies the twin islands of Trinidad and Tobago - the next stop on the Queen’s Baton’s journey through the islands of the Caribbean.
When the Amerindian people from South America settled on the island of Trinidad, it became the first part of the Caribbean to become permanently inhabited. After its discovery by Christopher Columbus in 1498, it was settled as a Spanish Colony until 1802. It wasn't until 1889 that the islands became a single entity under British rule and in 1962 gained its independence, becoming a republic in 1976.
With a population of 1.25 million, Trinidad and Tobago has enjoyed a remarkable amount of sporting success. Since 1948, they have won a total of 44 medals at the Commonwealth Games and 12 medals at the Olympic Games. They are also a big cricketing nation, with their cricketers representing the West Indies. Santa Cruz in Trinidad is home to one of the most successful cricketers of all time, the enigmatic Brian Lara - world record holder for the most runs scored in a Test and a First Class innings. Brian Lara is considered one of the best batsmen of all time and Trinidad and Tobago rightly hold him as a sporting hero.
It was a day for welcomes for the Queen’s Baton in Trinidad and Tobago. On arrival, the baton was met and handed to the President of the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee Brian Lewis and British High Commissioner HE Arthur Snell for the official welcome before it was whisked off to the awaiting media for a press conference. The evening saw the baton honoured at a reception hosted by British High Commissioner HE Arthur Snell. A number of Trinidad and Tobago athletes attended including Commonwealth Games silver and bronze shooting medallist Roger Daniel, Olympic Games silver and bronze 4x100m medallist Emmanuel Callender and World Champion 400m hurdler Jehue Gordon.
Tomorrow the baton travels to the neighbouring island of Tobago and then another day back in Trinidad. We can’t wait for the excitement!