TRINIDAD and Tobago will focus on the past, present and future, in celebrating the arrival of the Queen’s Baton, which arrived at the Piarco International Airport, yesterday.
The Queen’s Baton Relay has been the traditional curtain-raiser to the Commonwealth Games since the 1958 Games in Cardiff, Wales. The Queen’s Baton left Buckingham Palace in England on March 13 2017, and will travel throughout the Commonwealth region before the opening ceremony of the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, on April 4 2018.
A 10K relay event, starting at 9 am today at the Queen’s Park Savannah (opposite BPTT ), will feature a number of TT ’s former and current athletes. The race, which also ends opposite BPTT , will travel through Maraval, St Clair, St James and Woodbrook. Tomorrow the Queen’s Baton will travel to Heritage Park, Tobago, with celebrations starting at 9 am.
Double 1966 Commonwealth gold medallist Roger Gibbon will participate in the relay, along with 1998 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Wendell Williams.
President of the Trinidad and Tobago Commonwealth Games Association Brian Lewis is pleased to have one of this country’s legendary cyclists taking part. Lewis said, “We are very pleased to have Roger Gibbon, the only double gold medallist and Commonwealth champion, as a grandmaster of our event in Trinidad.” Lewis, who is also the president of the TT Olympic Committee (TTO C), said the acitivities today and tomorrow will focus on youngsters. “There are two billion citizens throughout the Commonwealth of nations, 50 percent of that two billion are young people under the age of 25. In that regard you will observe over the next two days that the activities both in Trinidad and Tobago, will focus on the youths and young people.” The relay will highlight heritage sites in Port of Spain, including the Magnificent Seven. “If you don’t know your history, and you don’t respect and acknowledge your history in the form of its culture and heritage, we don’t know where we will be going.” Regional vice-president of the Commonwealth Games Federation for the Caribbean, Fortuna Belrose, said the baton brings the Commonwealth region closer.
Belrose said, “One of the beautiful things about the baton is that when it comes around every four years, we are able to rekindle some of those relations that we have had with persons. But more importantly, we are able to contect even stronger and share even more experiences with each other.” Belrose said the baton brings a message of positivity. “The message of this baton is about you determining your own destiny, it’s about you aspiring for your goals, it’s about you going out to achieve what you want to achieve, no matter what the odds are against you.”