October 24, 2016 By Sahr Morris Jr.
Sierra Leone is set to become the first nation in the world to host the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Queens Baton Relay (QBR) in March 2017.
According to the Secretary General of the National Olympic Committee of Sierra Leone (NOC-SL), Joseph Nyande, the traditional queen’s baton will start his first international visit out of the Australia soils in Sierra Leone.
“We are already in proper arrangement with the Sports Ministry for this. We are delighted to note that we are going to be the first country to have the 2018 QBR, I think decision for this was because of the last time how it was hosted here,” Nyande said.
Meanwhile, the GC2018 Queen’s Baton design and international sector will be revealed on 20 November 2016. The QBR has been a symbol of the coming together of the Commonwealth in anticipation of the Games.
Over time the relay has been shaped by the Queen’s belief that friendly rivalry and sport helps build communities and inspire peace. The relay has grown, becoming more inclusive and accessible to the people of the Commonwealth.
The Kuala Lumpur 1998 Games were the first where the baton travelled beyond England and the host nation. Four years later the Manchester 2002 Games followed suit and its baton reached 23 nations. For the Melbourne 2006 Games, the baton visited every competing Commonwealth nation and territory for the first time.
Only once, for the Edinburgh 1970 Games, has the baton started its journey outside of the UK. Abby Hoffman, Canada’s 1966 gold medallist in the 880-yard event received the baton from the Queen at Petitot Park at Yellowknife, Canada.
The Gold Coast 2018 QBR will be the longest and most accessible relay in the Games’ history, it will continue the Queen’s tradition of celebrating the Commonwealth’s inclusive spirit and shared love of sport.