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Commonwealth Games: Queen’s Baton arrives in Malta

Commonwealth Games: Queen’s Baton arrives in Malta

The Maltese Olympic Committee and the Commonwealth Games Association Malta announced the programme of events, around the arrival of the Queen’s Baton Relay in Malta, which has arrived!

For those of you who may not know, the Queen’s Baton Relay is a Commonwealth Games tradition, which celebrates communities from across the Commonwealth, during the build-up to the games. The next edition of the games is set to take placed in Birmingham in the UK, in 2022. The Games will see 4,500 athletes from 72 nations and territories taking part in 11 days of sport, from the 28 of July till the 8 of August, 2022.

The Queen’s Baton is made specifically every four years for the games and the shape itself is distinctive, as it has special formations. Such features showcase the strength that can be found in diversity and collaboration. The Baton is a symbol of unity, the central pillar of what the Commonwealth Games represent. The relay kicked off on the 7 October at Buckingham Palace, where Queen Elizabeth II placed Her message to the Commonwealth into the Baton. The Baton then takes on an incredible 294-day journey through all the nations and territories of the Commonwealth, arriving back in the UK in July 2022.

The Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay will indeed visit all 72 nations and territories of the Commonwealth. However, it will travel almost half the distance that the previous Gold Coast Queen’s Baton Relay did, in a bid to reduce the carbon footprint.

The Baton left Buckingham Palace on 7 October for Cyprus and arrived in Malta, where it was welcomed by Julian Pace Bonello and Joseph Cassar, president and secretary general of the Maltese Olympic Committee and Commonwealth Games Association of Malta.

During the visit, nations and territories host events and activities that showcase untold stories from Baton bearers, athletes and those who are striving for change within their own communities, as well as showcasing a project that addresses at least one of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development goals.

President of Malta George Vella hosted the Maltese athletes that will be participating in the Commonwealth Games, to commemorate their achievement as they receive the honour. Neil Agius, Fabio Spiteri and Jake Vella have been appointed as Game Changers; individuals who have, through their endeavours, attempted to improve the lives of others and the environment around them.

The Baton bearers include: Charlton Debono, Janet Richard, Carla Sciclina, Jeremy Zammit (athletics), Matthew Abela (badminton), Thomas Borg (Paralympics – athletics), Anthony Micallef (rugby), Eleanor Bezzina, Michaela Galea (shooting), Julian Scerri, Lijana Sultana (squash), Christine Delia (swimming), Anthea Cutajar (table tennis) and Yazmin Zammit Stevens (weightlifting).

“Malta always looks forward to welcoming the Queen’s Baton. This traditional event is one that we eagerly await each time. It renews our enthusiasm for the Games, particularly in a time where the pandemic has disrupted so many events,” explained Julian Pace Bonello.

After departing from Malta, the Baton will be making its way to Nigeria.