On Day 2 (Wednesday September 6th) of the Queen’s Baton Relay around Wales, the Baton for the Gold Coast Commonweath Games 2018 will come face to face with the very first Queen’s Baton which started life in Wales as the prelude to the British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Cardiff in 1958, and continues to be a symbol of peace and harmony through participation in sport.
The Queen’s Baton arrived in Wales on Tuesday, and carried by Batonbearers from Swansea to Cardiff via Bridgend and Barry. First thing on Wednesday it makes its way from Coronation Park, Newport across the River Usk by gondola on Newport Transporter Bridge to Pillgwenlly Primary School, and then on public view in John Frost Square, before a mini Commonwealth Games event at Newport Leisure Centre. The Baton will then travel to Monmouth School, where the 1958 Baton is on display.
The Baton belongs to Mrs. Hackett-Payne, the daughter of Sir Godfrey Llewellyn, Chairman of the organising committee for the 1958 Games. In addition to the original Baton, Mrs. Hackett-Payne also has copies of the Queen’s message inside it , along with medals from the Games. Mrs. Hackett-Payne will attend the school event, and said: “It’s wonderful that history has come full circle and the Queen’s Baton for the 2018 Games returns to Wales where it all started almost 60 years ago. This is a proud moment for my family, and for Wales.”
The Baton then journeys to The Royal Mint Experience at Llantrisant, where Wales’ Frankie Jones, honoured as the ‘outstanding athlete’ of the 2014 Games, will run through The Royal Mint’s Circulating Coin Press room past thousands of striking coins, pausing to strike a 2017 new £1 coin, before finishing Day 2 at Ynysyngharad War Memorial Park where there will be a swimming gala at the Lido.
Amongst the 130+ Batonbearers touring Wales throughout the week will be past and present sporting greats, community ambassadors and Welsh celebrities, selected for their community contribution and achievement in the world of sport, education, arts & culture. In addition to Frankie Jones, Day 2 features the likes of Doctor Who star Gareth david Lloyd, Commonwealth Games cyclist Lewis Oliva, Dylan Hughes, a member of Down’s Syndrome Swimmers GB, and opera star and broadcaster Wynne Evans.
Commonwealth Games Wales Chair, Helen Phillips said: "The arrival of the Queen’s Baton in Wales brings the excitement and anticipation for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games to our communities, giving the people of Wales the chance to engage with this global symbol, and start focusing on the fortunes of Team Wales next year.”
The Queen's Baton Relay started at Buckingham Palace on 13 March this year, and will be travelling through Wales between 5-8 September.
The Baton will then work its way to Australia via Asia and Oceania in time for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games' opening ceremony on 4 April.