Since 1958, the Queen’s Baton relay, one of the greatest traditions of the Commonwealth Games, has been symbolising the unity and shared ideals of the Commonwealth of Nations. Every four years, the relay is an opportunity for Commonwealth communities to actively participate in the games’ celebrations, with the Baton carrying Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s ‘message to the athletes’, while passing through member nations on land, by air, sea and utilising many different modes of transportation.
The Queen’s Baton Relay 2010 Delhi commenced from Buckingham Palace, London, on the 29 October 2009. By the time it reaches the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium for the Opening Ceremony of the XIX Commonwealth Games on 3 October 2010, this uniquely designed Baton will have travelled over 190,000 kilometers in 340 days. On arrival, Her Majesty’s message will be removed from the Baton and read aloud to the athletes and spectators, marking the official opening of the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
On Sunday 6th June 2010, the British Chamber of Commerce Dragon Boat Team was invited to escort the Singapore National Dragon Boat Team in order to ensure the safe passage of the Queen’s Baton in a special dragonboat segment as part of its one-day journey through Singapore. At our first port of call, the waterfront steps of the open air theatre of the Esplanade, the Commonwealth Committee presented the Baton to the National Team’s coach, and all paddlers proudly joined in a Paddle Salute to mark this momentous occasion.
With the National Team taking the lead from the Esplanade in a Pink Spartan’s dragonboat (the Pink Spartans being a team formed by Breast Cancer Survivors), the three boats proceeded to the iconic Merlion, where supporters had gathered to witness and celebrate this leg of the Baton’s progress around Singapore. The last leg involved paddling from Marina Bay to the Singapore Flyer, where the Commonwealth Committee handed the Baton to the VP of Singapore National Olympic Council for the next segment of its onward journey to
the F1 pit. SAVA was appointed for the third consecutive Commonwealth Games by the Singapore National Olympic Council to organise the relay in Singapore.
An amazing afternoon of paddling was had by all….a once in a lifetime experience!
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