(Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, and his Cabinet colleagues warmly received the Queen’s Baton on the steps of Government Headquarters today, Monday, June 26, 2017, as the iconic relay made its way through the streets of Basseterre.
The Queen’s Baton Relay, which arrived in St. Kitts and Nevis on Saturday, June 24, is a tradition that celebrates the Commonwealth’s diversity, inspires community pride, and builds excitement for the staging of the 2018 Commonwealth Games to be staged in the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, from April 4-15, 2018.
Monday’s stop at Government Headquarters was preceded by a call on Governor General, His Excellency Sir Tapley Seaton at Government House.
In his address to the dozens of school children, national athletes and on-lookers gathered outside Government Headquarters to witness the event, Prime Minister Harris said while many Kittitians and Nevisians will never experience attending the Commonwealth Games in their lifetime, “the world tour of the Queen’s Baton Relay is an opportunity for our citizens and residents to come up close and personal with the iconic symbol of the games. It is a chance for our civil servants, our students, our private sector employees and the general rank and file of the population to feel, to touch and even have their photographs taken with the baton.”
The 2018 staging of the Commonwealth Games is expected to attract participation from 70 nations, with athletes competing in at least 17 sporting disciplines.
As such, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris said, “Our Government and people look forward to having our own national delegation participate in, and return successful from these games, which are meant as a reunion of sorts for the Commonwealth, while giving due honour to sport and athleticism, as is embodied in the Athlete’s Oath.”
“We further expect that our own athletes who will travel to the 2018 Commonwealth Games will be excellent ambassadors for our country, and do us all proud in terms of their performance, their maturity, and their conduct while representing us in the Gold Coast,” Dr. Harris continued.
Following the brief remarks at Government Headquarters, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Sports, the Honourable Shawn Richards, decked in his official Queen’s Baton Relay t-shirt, ran a leg of the relay through the streets of downtown Basseterre, occasionally stopping to take photos with athletes and members of the public along the way.
Later this evening, a brief ceremony and cocktail reception will be hosted by the Governor General at Government House for the visiting delegation. The team will then travel to the sister island of Nevis on Tuesday.
After its stop in Nevis, the Queen’s Baton Relay will then head to neighboring Anguilla.
The Queen’s Baton carries a message from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II that calls for the Commonwealth’s athletes to come together in peaceful and friendly competition.
The 2018 Commonwealth Games Queen’s Baton Relay, which commenced on March 13, 2017, at Buckingham Palace, will be the longest in history and the most accessible ever.