Queen’s Baton Relay reaches Cayman

Sandra Osborne of the Commonwealth Games Federation and CIOC President Donald McLean with the Queen's Baton.

The Cayman Islands has become the latest destination for the Queen’s Baton Relay ahead of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia.

The baton, which is making a ceremonial trek across dozens of Commonwealth countries, arrived at the Owen Roberts International Airport Friday afternoon (14 July), welcomed by Cayman Islands Olympic Committee (CIOC) officials and the sounds of steel pan music.

The Queen’s Baton arrives at Owen Roberts International Airport.

After a message from Queen Elizabeth II to athletes was placed inside the baton at Buckingham Palace in March, it has made its way across countries in Africa and the Caribbean and will move on to the Bahamas during the Commonwealth Youth Games next week.

“The concept is to have as many people touch the baton as possible,” said Mark Peters, CEO of the Gulf Coast 2018 Games Corporation.

On hand to arrive the baton from Sandra Osborne, the legal advisor for the Commonwealth Games Federation, was CIOC President Donald McLean. He said his hope is that the community will join in the celebration.

“We want to get as many people as possible to handle it and get the message of sport across,” he told CaymanSportsBuzz.com. “Although it’s not so much of a relay, we’ll hit a number of significant spots including the Cayman Turtle Centre, historic sites and a gathering at Pedro St James.”

Keri Algar of the Gold Coast 2018 Games describes the baton’s design to Donald McLean.

After a reception at Governor’s House Friday evening, a tour of Grand Cayman begins at Cayman Turtle Centre, where primary school students from West Bay are expected to gather. It then makes its way across the island with various stops before a public event at Pedro St James.

That function, which organisers invite all interested people to attend, starts at 3:00 p.m. and is expected to be attended by athletes who previously competed at Commonwealth Games and others with aspirations to do so. A special series of exhibition matches at South Sound Squash Club will round out the evening.

With nothing planned for Sunday, the Queen’s Baton Relay moves to the Sister Islands on Monday. First stop is Little Cayman and then to Cayman Brac, where it will be taken to Layman E Scott High School while a basketball camp is in session.

Athletes from the Cayman Islands will be among more than 6,600 competitors at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games next April.

Adam Stoner welcomed the guests with steel pan music.

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