Vice President Dr Isatou Touray yesterday received the Queen’s Barton at States House on behalf of President Adama Barrow.
The Queen’s Baton arrived in The Gambia on Monday and was received at the Banjul International Airport by Baton Manager for The Gambia Abdoulie Jallow.
The Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay which departed for the British High Commissioner’s Residence shortly after a brief ceremony at the Airport is expected to spend three days exploring the culture and community of The Gambia before departing for Sierra Leone.
The Queen’s Baton Relay is a tradition that celebrates, connects and excites communities from across the Commonwealth during the build up to the Commonwealth Games.
The Relay began on 7 October 2021 at Buckingham Palace, where Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II placed her message to the Commonwealth into the Baton.
VP Touray ran with the Baton from State House to McCarty Square where she delivered a brief statement.
In her remarks on behalf of President Barrow, said hosting the Relay reminds her of the decision taken by her government to rejoin the Commonwealth of Nations in 2017.
She stated that the decision to rejoin the Commonwealth was very simple.
She noted that the Games, whilst encouraging healthy competition, also help to renew the strong bonds of brotherhood and friendship amongst each other.
VP Touray encouraged everyone to embrace the cultural diversity of the Commonwealth whilst continuing to collaborate with each other in the interest of passing on the ideals of the Commonwealth to the next generation.
“Sports is one of the biggest platforms through which our youth can contribute to the development of the Nation. As a result, my government is committed to creating an enabling environment for its youth to engage in both leisure and professional sporting activities,” she also said.
David Belgrove, the British High Commissioner to the Gambia said the Baton will take an incredible 294-day journey through all nations and territories of the Commonwealth, arriving back in England in July 2022. He added that the Baton will travel an epic international route, spanning an impressive 269 days, spending between two and four days in each nation or territory, covering approximately 90,000 miles (140,000 kilometres), having over 7,500 Baton bearers trusted with the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to carry the Baton.
He further said that the Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay will visit all 72 nations and territories of the Commonwealth yet will travel almost half the distance than the previous Gold Coast Queen’s Baton Relay in a bid to reduce the carbon footprint.
The Baton will be visiting sustainable projects within Banjul, KMC and West Coast Region. In addition, it would take a boat trip from Lamin Lodge to Denton Bridge enjoying our beautiful mangroves and our varied species of birds.
The global journey will conclude at the Birmingham Games 2022 Opening Ceremony where the final Baton bearer will return it to Her Majesty the Queen.