Namibia to host the Queen’s Baton

26 Jan 2017 16:00pm
WINDHOEK, 26 JAN (NAMPA) – Namibia will host the Queen’s Baton Relay from 27 to 29 April in Windhoek as part of pre-Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games celebrations.
The games take place in Australia from 04 to 15 April 2018, while the Youth Commonwealth Games take place in the Bahamas from 23 to 29 July this year.
Speaking at a media briefing in Windhoek on Thursday, Namibia National Olympic Committee (NNOC) President, Abner Xoagub said Namibians from all walks of life will have a chance to carry the baton during activities that will include a fundraising dinner.
The funds raised during the dinner will assist athletes and officials to attend the Youth Commonwealth Games.
The relay commences at Buckingham Palace in London on 13 March 2017, which is Commonwealth Day.
Its first port of call will be Sierra Leone.
Thousands of baton bearers will carry the baton through its 230 000 kilometre journey in all six Commonwealth regions of Africa, the Americas, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia and Oceania.
It will travel 288 days through 70 nations before it arrives in the host city.
“The Queen’s baton carries a personal message to the athletes of the Commonwealth from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, which is taken out at the opening ceremony of the games and read out loud by Her Majesty or her representative,” Xoagub said.
During the baton’s visit to Namibia, the NNOC will engage schools, civic organisations, various national federations including athletes with disabilities and the private sector.
Micaela Marques de Sousa, the United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef)’s representative in Namibia, said sports have the ability to play a critical role in the lives and wellbeing of children and young people.
Unicef is the NNOC’s primary partner in hosting the relay.
“We as Unicef will use the vehicle of sport to reignite the hopes of young people for better education, better health and better protection,” she said.
De Sousa said Unicef embraces the power of sports towards dismantling the economic and social barriers that affect children and young people globally.
The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games is an international multi-sport event for members of the Commonwealth.
It will be hosted in the city of Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia.