The 2018 Commonwealth Games Queen’s Baton Relay completed its five-day stay in South Africa and will leave the shores on Saturday heading off to Trinidad and Tobago.
The baton arrived at OR Tambo Airport, Johannesburg from Lesotho on Monday and South Africa was the 18th and final African country to host the baton.
The inland leg of the relay saw the baton visit various communities and touristic attractions in Mpumalanga. On Friday the baton visited the Kruger National Park, and surrounding community members had a chance to experience and handle the baton.
The delegates of the QBR visited Mvuyazi Primary School in Cork, Bushbuckridge, where they were received with warmth and excitement by the school children and members of the community.
The Bushbuckridge executive mayor and other counsellors welcomed the delegates to the various festivities.
Vice-president of the Commonwealth Games Federation, Gideon Sam, encouraged the school children to work hard and achieve well academically to help improve their community. “You are an important community, as you have been chosen to host the Queen’s Baton. As youth, you should participate in sport so that you also become part of Team South Africa,” Sam added.
On behalf of SASCOC, Patience Shikwambana said, “Thank you to the Commonwealth Games Federation for bringing the baton to us. It was a great pleasure and we are confident that the baton has inspired our youth and children and at the same time we also showcased our own country.”
Various cultural groups entertained the crowd, who joined in song and dance. Three students recited a poem referring to the importance of the Commonwealth Games to the youth.
Also present at the farewell was Josia Thugwane, former gold medallist at the Atlanta Olympic Games, and he had an opportunity to interact and pose for pictures with the Bushbuckridge community members.
The baton now continues its global journey and will arrive in Australia 100 days before the opening ceremony of the 2018 Games on 4 April 2018.
SASCOC would like to express their gratitude to Mpumalanga Province for hosting the Queen’s Baton delegates, Airport Company South Africa (ACSA) for assisting during the arrival of the baton, Sports and Recreation South Africa (SRSA) and CGF for all their support, sports fans, media and all other stakeholders who made the baton’s five-day stay in South Africa a success.