In just over a month the Queen’s Baton Relay (QBR) will set off on its 388-day journey around the Commonwealth, and the Gold Coast schools community can’t wait.
Local students across 112 schools have been making friends across the globe through the Gold Coast Schools Connect Program, a GC2018 initiative that links local schools with every nation and territory in the Commonwealth.
With 60 per cent of the Commonwealth’s population under 30-years-old, youth engagement sits at the heart of the Commonwealth’s sport movement and legacy efforts. The program provides a unique, genuine and lasting connection with students on the other side of the world, underpinning the ‘Friendly Games.’
The Schools Connect Program includes a re-emergence of the popular Adopt a Commonwealth Country Program initiated for the Gold Coast’s bid in 2011. Students will continue to build ties with others in their adopted Commonwealth countries and learn more about their history, culture and customs.
A number of Gold Coast schools have already welcomed delegates and athletes into their classrooms. Aspiring athletes from Jersey shared insights into their preparation for competition and Commonwealth Games Association (CGA) representatives from England educated students about the red double-decker buses and the Royal Family. After their visit ‘down under’ the Scottish delegates didn’t leave empty handed either – students gave them a pair of thongs, postcards of the Gold Coast and a jar of Vegemite!
The imminent QBR start will be an exciting milestone as students are looking forward to the specially-designed Baton, which captures the boundless energy of the Gold Coast, visiting their adopted country. A gift bannerette from each of the 112 Gold Coast Connect Schools will be taken on the road with the QBR Team and given to the connected school in their adopted nation or territory.
The QBR takes a message from Her Majesty The Queen through the Commonwealth to the Opening Ceremony of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (GC2018).
The Baton starts its journey at Buckingham Palace on Commonwealth Day, Monday 13 March 2017. Her Majesty The Queen will place Her message into the Baton and pass it to the first Batonbearer.