The Queen’s Baton Relay continues its journey through the islands of the Caribbean — the next stop: St. Vincent and The Grenadines.
The islands of St. Vincent & The Grenadines form part of the Lesser Antilles which also include the nations of Barbados, Grenada & Trinidad and Tobago.
The baton arrived into the capital city of Kingstown, which forms part of the parish of Saint George before travelling to the most northerly tip of the island to a town called Fancy.
The arrival of the baton in Fancy was well timed as they were holding the annual celebration of ‘Heroes Day’ where the communities of the island travel north to gather for a day of celebration, marking respect to their nation’s hero, Chief Joseph Chatoyer who helped lead the nation in protecting itself from the European invasion.
Departing from Fancy, the journey of the baton passed through the communities along the western coast, named the Windward coast. To run this +30 mile relay, the country had engaged some of its best runners. Panenos Ballantyne who has represented his country in 2 Olympic Games and 3 Commonwealth Games accompanied by Dwight Baptiste and Caswin Prince both avid marathon and half marathon runners.
The relay runners were supported by the St Vincent and the Grenadines Cycling Club the journey down the coast took the baton up and down some of the steep and rocky cliffs and along lagoon beaches.
The next day the baton flew 10 minutes by Sea-Otter to one of the most famous of the Grenadine islands: Mustique. This privately owned island is renowned for being ‘one of the most exclusive islands in the world’. With only 104 residential properties on the island it is the holiday resort of choice for people such as Mick Jagger and Tommy Hillfiger, who both own houses on this paradise island. The baton was taken to see some of the world’s most famous beaches including Lagoon Beach and Macaroni Beach.
Arriving back into Kingstown, the road based relay engaged with representatives from almost all of the local sports clubs with Fort Charlotte offering a beautiful panoramic view over the town below.
After a fun filled and adventurous day the baton made its way to the final destination -Arnos Vales stadium – where it was met by Elton Lloyd Anderson, now 88, who had competed as an athlete for St Vincent and The Grenadines, running in the 100 yards and finishing fifth in his heat with a time of 10.3 seconds.
The journey continues through the Caribbean - St Lucia is next before continuing on to Dominica.