The Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) has welcomed the 16th official Queen’s Baton Relay in anticipation of this year’s staging of the Commonwealth Games to be held in Birmingham, United Kingdom (UK).
The Baton arrived in the island on April 15, as part of its journey through 72 Commonwealth nations and territories, prior to the official start of the Games in July 2022.
Jamaica is the 51st stop, since the relay started on 7 October 2021, with Her Majesty the Queen placing her Message to the Commonwealth into the Baton.
It arrived from the Cayman Islands and will next head to Trinidad and Tobago after its three-day stop in Jamaica.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith said Jamaicans in the diaspora and otherwise, are looking forward to the “great” achievements of the country’s athletes, throughout the games.
“Despite the pandemic, Jamaican sport has built back better and stronger than ever. I take this opportunity to congratulate the JOA on your work to develop our sportsmen and sportswomen,” she stated.
The Minister was speaking at a presentation ceremony held at the University of the West Indies, Mona, Regional Headquarters on April 16.
For his part, President of the JOA, Christopher Samuda said the association “embraces the Queen’s Baton, [with] the spirit of friendship and brotherhood.”
“It is a reminder that sport is indeed a relay in life, which demands of its runners the skill, the judgment and character in ensuring that success is earned,” he stated.
He noted further that the Baton represented “hope for a better world through sport”.
Meanwhile, former track and field athlete, Donald Quarrie, said the upcoming Games will help “revive athletics,” after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic two years ago.
“I think our team will do very well because traditionally we have done well at the Commonwealth Games. Our athletes will rise to the occasion,” he stated.
The Commonwealth Games is held every four years, with approximately 6600 sportsmen and women participating. It will begin on July 28 and end on August 8, 2022.