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Day 171 - St Kitts & Nevis

The Queen’s Baton has made landfall in the island nations of St. Kitts and Nevis, also known as St. Christopher and Nevis. The island nations boast a population of approximately 55,000. Upon landing, the vibrancy and passion of local people was tangible, an early sign of what was to be a fantastic stop for the Queen’s Baton Relay.

Day one began in Basseterre, the capital city of St. Kitts. The baton travelled across the incredible landscape, throughout both small towns and the main historical landmarks that the island has to offer.

St Kitts presents one wondrous vista after another, and Timothy Hill offers a perfect viewpoint to take in the Atlantic Sea on the left-hand side, and the Caribbean Sea on the right. Against this dramatic backdrop, the baton was hosted by displays of taekwondo, basketball, beach football and beach volleyball.

As the sun set on an action packed day, the baton, carried by the soldiers of the island’s military, wound its way to Brimstone Hill Fort National Park. More soldiers were present at the park in incredible period costumes of the West Indies Regiment – firing gun salutes from original musket rifles. An incredibly memorable way to mark the end of the first day!

The second day was spent on Nevis, pronounced Nee-vis. This is the home of Nevis Peak; at 985 metres high, it is not to be confused with Scotland’s Ben Nevis, which stands at 1,344metres high!

St Kits and Nevis are within swimming distance of each other, allowing for regular swimming races that take place between the two islands.

As the relay continued around the island the baton was met by a British settler on Nevis - Quentin Henderson, formerly of Edinburgh, who has been an apiarist, or bee keeper, on Nevis for 27 years!

The baton was then carried by the people of the island nation of Nevis.

The Queen's Baton on Kittitian Hill, in St. Kitts, Friday 28 March 2014. St. Kitts and Nevis is nation 51 of 70 Commonwealth nations and territories to be visited by the Queen's Baton.

From beauty pageant Queens in their high heels and sparkling tiaras to athletes from the police force and cyclists from the St. Kitts and Nevis Cycling Federation.

A team from the cycling federation, who cycle the island every Sunday for two hours, took the baton forward. These cyclists devote time to helping the community, through the Newcastle Youth Development Programme, helping schoolchildren “enhance their education through cycling”, finding tutors to help them with their schoolwork, and by cycling with them at weekends.

A visit in the evening to the Inter-Schools Sports Championships showcased not only fantastic running and athletics, but also a great turnout of spectators mingling on the sandbanks and in the stands. The floodlights beamed down on the young would-be stars of tomorrow, competing for glory and their individual schools.

The fact that athletics and sport in general are popular on both islands solidifies the sporting future of both St Kitts and Nevis. Hopefully the gold medal won in the 100 metres by Kim Collins at the Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games won’t be the only medal these islands will receive.

It has been a very busy schedule for the Queen’s Baton on these two wonderful islands, but a journey that has showcased how committed the people of St. Kitts and Nevis are to sport and the athletes of the future.

To see more images of the fantastic journey round the islands of St Kitts & Nevis, check out our gallery

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