The Queen’s Baton Relay, which as an integral part of the build-up to the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, received a warm Manx when it visited the Island over the weekend. Thousands turned out to cheer Team Isle of Man competitors as they proudly carried the baton around the Island, accompanied by Clyde the official Glasgow 2014 mascot.
Chief Minister Hon Allan Bell MHK welcomed the baton relay when it arrived at Ronaldsway on Friday [May 16]. It also visited The Buchan School and the Old House of Keys in Castletown where children took part in the Castle Rushen Challenge – a fun event organised by Manx National Heritage. The relay travelled to Douglas Railway Station on a train pulled by an engine named Caledonia which was built in Glasgow. A fantastic first day was topped off by the baton and Team Isle of Man competitors appearing on the BBC’s The One Show with Chris Evans and Alex Jones from a studio set up at the Villa Marina.
On Saturday the baton was cheered on by children taking part in the Manx Youth Games at the NSC. In the afternoon shoppers in Douglas welcomed the relay and it popped into the Manx Telecom shop in Strand Street. Then it was off to Laxey, and later the baton travelled by tram to the top of Snaefell. Sunday’s events included a trip to the House of Manannan in Peel followed by a trip on a longboat to the Peel RNLI station. There were more events at sea in the afternoon with a spectacular flotilla in Douglas. The baton was carried on a RIB, and then transported by the Coastguard who waded into the sea and carried it up the beach by a ‘Quadski’ amphibious quad bike specially imported from US for the occasion.
On Monday the baton was taken to businesses which have supported the Team Isle of Man Champions fundraising initiative. The Champions are Auxesia, Creechurch Capital, Heron & Brearley, IOMA Fund and Investment Management Limited, Isle of Man Creamery, Karsons Pharmacy, Manx Telecom, MM&C, Skanco and SMP Partners.
Her Majesty The Queen launched the relay at Buckingham Palace on October 9 last year and that signalled the start of the Baton’s 118,000 mile journey to all Commonwealth nations and territories. The baton arrived here on May 16 from the Guernsey and Jersey legs of the relay, and left the Island on Monday May 19 to continue its journey with the next stop being Northern Ireland. The relay will culminate at the opening ceremony of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games on July 23, 2014. Inside the baton is Her Majesty’s message to the Commonwealth which will remain hidden until the opening ceremony.