Glasgow Welcomes Queen's Baton Relay
22 August 2017, 14:02
The Queen's Baton Relay has arrived in Scotland as it tours the globe ahead of next year's Commonwealth Games in Australia.
The baton made its first stop in Glasgow, which hosted the last Commonwealth Games in 2014.
It is making a 142,915-mile (230,000km) journey over 388 days ahead of the Gold Coast 2018 event, travelling through Africa, the Americas, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia and Oceania.
The baton, which left Buckingham Palace in March carrying a message from the Queen, will arrive in Australia in December and travel through the country, finishing its journey at the Opening Ceremony on April 4.
In Glasgow, the 42nd stop of its global tour, the baton visited a range of youth and community projects with a strong focus on the legacy of the previous Games.
Michael Jamieson, Olympic and Commonwealth silver medallist in swimming, was the first baton bearer as the relay arrived at Glasgow School of Sport.
He was accompanied by Louise Martin, president of the Commonwealth Games Federation, and Jon Doig, chief executive of Commonwealth Games Scotland.
Accepting the baton on behalf of Scotland, Mr Doig said: "The Queen's Baton Relay is the iconic symbol of the Commonwealth Games and we are delighted to welcome the Gold Coast 2018 Baton to Scotland today.
"We have had tremendous enthusiasm and support from local authorities, schools and community groups across the country, helping to organise an exciting programme of events, using the QBR to connect their communities with the Games and embrace the values of the Commonwealth movement as a whole.
"The public support Team Scotland enjoyed for Glasgow 2014 was phenomenal and I look forward to seeing that passion sparked once again, as the baton journeys through Scotland this week."
They were greeted by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Lord Provost of Glasgow Eva Bolander, Glasgow City Council leader Susan Aitken, and Angela Porter, director of the Glasgow School of Sport.
Ms Sturgeon said: "I am delighted to be able to welcome the Queen's Baton Relay to Scotland during its journey around the Commonwealth ahead of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.
"Scotland hosted the most successful Commonwealth Games ever in Glasgow 2014 and we are looking to achieve our best away Games ever in Australia next year."
She added: "We will continue to invest for the future by creating world-class facilities and providing funding for coaching and training so that, from grassroots to elite, Scotland can be proud of its sporting achievements."
While in Glasgow the baton is also visiting the former Commonwealth Games Village in Dalmarnock and the Cuningar Loop woodland park, a 2014 legacy project.
It is stopping at the Emirates Arena and Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome and The Legacy Hub in Dalmarnock, finishing the day in George Square.
Ms Bolander said: "It only seems like yesterday that we were welcoming our own Queen's Baton Relay to the city ahead of the 2014 Commonwealth Games. The people of Glasgow were so excited and enthusiastic, and it really was wonderful to see."
She added: "If the excitement today is any indicator, everyone in the country will be behind the Scottish athletes next April, cheering Team Scotland on as it aims for its best ever overseas medal haul!"
The baton will spend five days in Scotland.
Designed for each Games by the host nation, the 2018 Queen's Baton has a distinctive loop design and has been made using macadamia wood and reclaimed plastic, sourced from Gold Coast waterways.