It will travel across the globe through the 70 nations and territories of the Commonwealth carrying a special message from Her Majesty the Queen, but the final lap of the Queen’s Baton Relay will be its last 40 days travelling the length and breadth of Scotland.
Commonwealth Games Scotland and Glasgow 2014 need up to 4,000 special people to be the batonbearers given the honour of carrying this unique symbol of the Commonwealth Games towards its final destination and the Opening Ceremony of the Games.
Yesterday (October 9) at Buckingham Palace in a simple but moving ceremony involving Olympic and Commonwealth legends, Sir Chris Hoy and Allan Wells MBE, Scottish athletes, world-renowned classical violinist Nicola Benedetti and young people from Scotland and the Commonwealth, Her Majesty The Queen, accompanied by His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, placed Her message into the beautiful titanium and elm wood Glasgow 2014 Queen’s Baton.
Her Majesty’s message will form the core part of the baton which will travel throughout the Commonwealth and across the Home Nations before returning to Scotland and featuring at the Opening Ceremony in Glasgow on July 23, 2014.
Before it departed on its 190,000km, 248-day international journey, the Queen’s Baton was brought to Stirling, the heart of the country and home of Commonwealth Games Scotland, to launch an appeal for nominations for the batonbearers who will carry it through the communities of Scotland in June and July of next year.
From June 14, 2014 and for the following 40 days, the Queen’s Baton will travel to all parts of the nation, visiting every local authority area.
From the spires of Edinburgh to the peaks of the Highlands; from Border woodlands to island beaches, the Queen’s Baton Relay offers everyone the chance to be a part of the excitement, celebrations and countdown to Scotland’s biggest-ever sporting and cultural festival, the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Around 100 batonbearers will carry the baton each day with the relay reaching more than 400 communities during its 40-day journey.
The relay will reflect the important role sport plays in the community by visiting schools, sporting facilities and leisure centres and through a range of events and activities supported by the sportscotland Active Schools Network. The support is focused on encouraging communities to get behind Team Scotland, get involved with the Games and using its profile to get more people participating in sport.
From today (October 10) until 22 November anyone can nominate their own local champions to be batonbearers. To be a batonbearer, people are required to:
- Be 12 years old or older at the date of nomination
- Have made a positive contribution to the lives of others through community sport
- Undertaken voluntary work or contributed to schools or youth organisations
- Contributed towards greater inclusion for disadvantaged or marginalised sectors of the community
- Been a role model or mentor to youth through sport
- Displayed a level of individual achievement against the odds
- Made a significant contribution to their local community
Nominations can be made online from today on the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games website www.glasgow2014.com
A Judging Panel including representatives from a wide cross section of Scottish community organisations will assist in selecting the successful nominations for each local authority area.
Launching the Queen’s Baton Relay Route and the nomination of batonbearers Commonwealth Games Scotland Chairman Michael Cavanagh said:
“The Queen’s Baton Relay is the ultimate symbol of the Commonwealth Games and its arrival in Scotland gives an important signal to both the athletes and the public that the Games are just around the corner.
“As the host Commonwealth Games Association we are delighted to announce today the route the baton will take during its 40 days in Scotland next June/July and how the public can nominate worthy Batonbearers who make a significant contribution to their local community.
“The baton’s journey through the country is the ideal opportunity to celebrate community sport and recognise those local athletes selected for Team Scotland at Glasgow 2014. Get behind the Team and be part of the Games!”
Lord Smith of Kelvin, Glasgow 2014 Chairman, said:
“In June and July next year the Queen’s Baton Relay will travel throughout Scotland sharing the excitement of the countdown to the Commonwealth Games with communities across the nation.
“It's important as many people as possible feel part of this special moment and from today there's a chance for everyone to nominate the people in their street, village, town or city that they would like to see honoured as batonbearers.
“This is a chance to recognise the efforts of everyday champions that make a real difference and we look forward to seeing them take centre stage in their communities when Glasgow and Scotland's Queen's Baton Relay makes its memorable final journey to the Games.”
Louise Martin, Honorary Secretary of the Commonwealth Games Federation, said:
“It is fantastic to have the Queen’s Baton in the heart of Scotland to reveal the route it will travel here as it prepares to begin its memorable journey around the Commonwealth. When it returns to Scotland it will travel the length and breadth of the nation for 40 days, building momentum and excitement for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
“Today we are making a call to action for the people in Scotland to play their part in celebrating what is going to be a great Games here by nominating those unsung champions who play an important role in bringing communities together to become those very special Glasgow 2014 Batonbearers.”
Shona Robison, Commonwealth Games Minister said:
“As Scotland continues to gear up for the biggest sporting and cultural event we’ve ever hosted, the Queen’s Baton Relay domestic route offers a unique chance for people across the whole of the country to be involved with and engage in next year’s Commonwealth Games.
“When the baton returns to Scotland next June, it will travel the length and breadth of the country, visiting each local authority allowing everyone to join in the celebrations and experience a sense of pride and excitement in Games.
“The batonbearer public nomination campaign announced today gives everyone in Scotland a chance to recognise up to 4,000 individuals who have made an exceptional contribution to their local community, in particular through sport or their work with young people. Help us reward those community spirited people, from the Borders to Shetland, and let those perhaps unsung community champions in your towns and villages shine on the world’s stage.”
Councillor Archie Graham, Executive Member for the Commonwealth Games at Glasgow City Council, said:
“The return of the Queen’s Baton Relay to Scotland next summer will signify the last lap in the preparations for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. It also offers the chance of recognition for those who support their local community through sport or in other ways. I would encourage everyone who thinks they know of a suitable candidate to put their name forward to be a batonbearer.”
Scottish Triathlete and World Junior Silver Medallist Marc Austin said:
“I am really excited to be here today to see the Queen’s Baton and it makes me even more determined to be selected to compete for Scotland at Glasgow 2014.
“It will be a special moment when the baton visits my home city of Glasgow next year and I hope it will encourage everyone to get behind the Games and show their support for Team Scotland.”
Marc is a student at Stirling University, with TriathlonScotland also based on campus.
Later today, following events in Glasgow and at Glasgow International Airport the Queen’s Baton departs Scotland for Delhi – host city of the 2010 Commonwealth Games – from where it will visit EVERY nation and territory of the Commonwealth.
Over 248 days and 190,000km the baton visit all the nations and territories of the Commonwealth and it will be the first baton ever to visit Rwanda. The international journey of the baton will be captured by global adventurer Mark Beaumont who will report for The One Show, BBC Breakfast, BBC Radio 2 and BBC Radio Scotland, along with BBC News outlets, and online.
The baton will be relayed on its journey by Emirates, the Official Airline of the Queen’s Baton Relay and an official Partner of Glasgow 2014.
Note to Editors
1. The Commonwealth Games is an international, multi-sport event involving 70 teams of athletes from the Commonwealth of Nations. The event was first held in 1930 and takes place every four years. Glasgow 2014 will be the 20th Commonwealth Games and will be held from 23 July to 3 August. It will feature 17 sports in 11 days of competition with 261 medal events on show. The Games will play host to 4500 athletes and sell 1,000,000 tickets with the event aided by an army of up to 15,000 local volunteers. Glasgow 2014 Ltd is the official name for the Organising Committee tasked with delivering the Games in partnership with the Scottish Government, Glasgow City Council and Commonwealth Games Scotland.
2. The first Queen’s Baton Relay was staged for the 1958 Commonwealth Games in Cardiff and has been the curtain raiser to the Games ever since.
3. The Scotland route of the QBR will require approximately 4,000 batonbearers in total and an average of approximately 100 batonbearers will carry the baton on a daily basis.
4. Each individual batonbearer segment is approx 200 metres. Nominations can be made online from 10 October 2013 via www.glasgow2014.com. Those nominating will also be asked to write in 100 words or less the reasons why they consider their nominee meets one or more of the selection criteria for a community batonbearer. This information will be considered by the judging panel in selecting the successful nominations.
5. The batonbearer judging panels represent a wide section of organisations to ensure selections are fair, equitable and diverse. They include Commonwealth Games Scotland; relevant local authorities; Scottish Association of Local Sports Councils (SALSC); Young Ambassadors from the sportscotland/Youth Sport Trust programme; Young Scot; Education Scotland – Community Learning and Development; Scottish Disability Sport and Volunteer Development Scotland.
6. The Glasgow 2014 Queen’s Baton Relay Baton has been designed by award-winning 4c Design, a key contributor to Glasgow’s vibrant creative sector. Established in 2002 by two design graduates of The Glasgow School of Art, William Mitchell (Product Design) and Robin Smith (Product Design Engineering), it comprises expert designers, engineers and model-makers.
7. Emirates, an Official Partner of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, is the Official Airline of the Queen’s Baton Relay.
8. Glasgow 2014’s other official partner level sponsors are Longines, SSE, Virgin Media, and BP. For more information on Glasgow 2014’s full sponsor family, please visit http://www.glasgow2014.com/games/our-sponsors
9. Glasgow 2014, the Commonwealth Games Federation and UNICEF are working together in an exciting partnership that will transform the lives of children in Scotland and throughout the Commonwealth. Using the power of sport and culture this unique partnership aims to inspire, enable and empower the children of the Commonwealth to be the best they can be.
10. To follow the baton visit www.glasgow2014.com/batonrelay