Seychelles awaits arrival of Queen’s Baton
The XXI Commonwealth Games is fast approaching and will take place next year in Gold Coast, Australia and already theA look at the 2018 Commonwealth Games Queen’s Baton traditional Queen’s Baton Relay, which carries a message from the Head of the Commonwealth, currently Queen Elizabeth II, to the member nations is underway.
Seychelles will welcome the Queen’s Baton for only the fourth time on Tuesday April 11, where aside from the usual relay all over the country, a host of other activities are being organised by the Seychelles Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association (Socga) to commemorate the occasion.
In fact, a meeting was held with all concerned parties yesterday afternoon at the Socga Headquarters, Roche Caiman, where final discussions were made for the Baton’s arrival.
Among the topics of discussion was the programme for the Baton’s five-day stay in the country, where details of the events were given.
The Baton is expected to arrive in Seychelles from Tanzania on Tuesday afternoon, where the Queen’s Baton team will be met by Socga President, Antonio Gopal, who will then pass the baton to the minister responsible for sport, Idith Alexander, in the presence of other officials and students.
A cocktail will then be organised at Berjaya Beau Vallon for invitees, where there is expected to be several presentations by various high officials, including the British and Australian high commissioners.
There will also be an exhibition by the Bel Ombre school during the event.
The biggest activity will take place on Wednesday, when the Queen’s Baton will officially begin its tour of Seychelles, starting at the Berjaya Beau Vallon Beach Hotel. Various activities have been planned at various places during the relay, which will feature athletes, teachers and students, with schools such as Pointe Larue primary and Anse Royale secondary, while there will also be activities at the Clock Tower in Victoria and AVANI Resort and Spa.
The Queen’s Baton will also travel to Praslin and La Digue on Thursday, before it leaves the country and head out to Mauritius on Saturday. There are no activities planned for Friday.
The Relay traditionally begins at Buckingham Palace in London as part of the city’s Commonwealth Day festivities. The Queen entrusts the Baton to the first relay runner. At the Opening Ceremony of the Games, the final relay runner hands the Baton back to the Queen or her representative, who reads the message aloud to officially open the Games.
The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (GC2018) Queen’s Baton Relay is planned to be the longest ever. It began on March 13, 2017, and will travel for 388 days, spending time in every nation and territory of the Commonwealth. It will arrive on the Gold Coast for the Opening Ceremony of the Games on April 4, 2018.
The Baton for the GC2018 was designed by Brisbane-based Company Designworks to reflect the local culture and life of Queensland.
The 2018 Commonwealth Games, officially known as the XXI Commonwealth Games and commonly known as Gold Coast 2018, will be held on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia between April 4 and 15 2018. The winning bid was announced in Basseterre, Saint Kitts on November 11, 2011. It will be the fifth time Australia hosts the Commonwealth Games.
One of the key technical aspects of Gold Coast City’s successful bid was the fact that the city already has 80 percent of the planned venues in place. The vast majority of venues are located within 20-minutes driving time of the Athletes Village in Parkwood and are broadly grouped into three areas; Central Gold Coast City, North Gold Coast City and South Gold Coast City. The only sports that will be held outside of Gold Coast City will be track cycling and the preliminary rounds of Basketball which will be held in Brisbane and Cairns/Townsville respectively, along with the shooting which will be held in neighbouring Belmont.
There are 70 participating nations scheduled to compete at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. Maldives were scheduled to participate, but in October 2016, they withdrew from the Commonwealth.
The current regulations state that from the 26 approved sports administered by Commonwealth Governing Bodies, a minimum of ten core sports and maximum of seventeen sports must be included in any Commonwealth Games schedule. The current approved sports include the 10 core sports: athletics, badminton, boxing, hockey, lawn bowls, netball (for women), rugby sevens, squash, swimming and weightlifting. Integrated disabled competitions are also proposed for the Games in nine sports: swimming, athletics, cycling, table tennis, cycling, powerlifting and lawn bowls. Along these events for the first time EAD events in triathlon will be held, with the medals being added to the final tally for each nation. A record 38 para events will be contested at these games. On March 8, 2016 Beach Volleyball was announced as the 18th sport.
The programme will be broadly similar to that of the 2014 Commonwealth Games, with the major changes being the dropping of judo, the reintroduction of basketball, the debut of women’s rugby sevens and beach volleyball.
On October 7, 2016, it was announced seven new events for women were added to the sport programme, meaning there will be an equal number of events for men and women. This marks the first time in history that a major multi-sport event will have equality in terms of events. In total 275 events in 18 sports will be contested.