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Queen’s Baton Relay finishes up in Cape Town

The Queen’s Baton Relay continued to raise 2022 Commonwealth Games sporting awareness in South Africa on Saturday as the final day of the SA leg of the spectacle rolled out in the Western Cape.

In South Africa for four days ahead of its journey back to Birmingham, England the Queen’s Baton went to Cape Town and visited Langa.

The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic meant that the festivities of previous relays were not possible, but officials were welcomed at the Guga S’thebe Cultural Museum, where a musical trio of marimba drummers performed.

The baton then was transported down Bhunga avenue and up Bitterhout street to the nearby Langa stadium, where the local children were participating in mini sports such as sevens rugby, netball and hockey.

The children were given a special treat as they got a sight of their sporting heroes, with Proteas netball player Bongiwe Msomi and paralympic gold medalist Anrune Weyers among the athletes in attendance.

To assist the children to reach their own sporting dreams, new equipment – netballs, hockey sticks and balls, soccer balls and cricket bats – were donated.

“We have taken the baton from Mafikeng to Rustenburg, Klerksdorp to Vryburg, the Northern Cape and Kimberley. This is the last stop before we deliver it back to Namibia after receiving it from Botswana,” SASCOC first vice-president Lwandile Simelane said. “It will go to 72 countries around the world who will participate in the Commonwealth Games. It is a symbol of unity and of pride for us to be part of the Commonwealth Games.

“Bringing it to communities like Langa is imperative because sport belongs to the people and this is where the people are. It has been an exciting few days that we have been on the road, taking the baton to the people, giving the people the inspiration that they need. Especially the youth, to understand that there is a goal and the goal is the Commonwealth Games, the Protea, just to make your country proud. It has been a great honour to be on this journey.”

The Baton made its final trip in South Africa to Cape Town stadium and will next travel to neighbour Namibia, before making its way to Eswatini and Lesotho.

The international route of the relay spans an impressive 269 days, spending between two and four days in each nation or territory, covering approximately 140,000 kilometres, with over 7,500 Batonbearers trusted with the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to carry the Baton in their community.

Having begun on 7 October, the global journey will conclude at the Birmingham 2022 Opening Ceremony on 28 July where the final Batonbearer will return the Baton to Her Majesty The Queen.