One of the most iconic symbols of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, the Queen’s Baton, has been revealed to a packed theatre at Jupiters Gold Coast as the city marks 500 days to go until the Games on Sunday.
The distinctive loop design will be the centerpiece of the Queen’s Baton Relay (QBR), a Games tradition that celebrates the Commonwealth’s diversity, inspires community pride and excites people about the world-class festival of sports and culture to come.
The Queen’s Baton carries a personal message to the athletes of the Commonwealth from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, on a journey from Buckingham Palace to the Opening Ceremony of the Games, where the message is removed from the Baton and read aloud by Her Majesty or a representative.
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The QBR has been the traditional curtain raiser to every Commonwealth Games since the Cardiff 1958 British Empire and Commonwealth Games.
GC2018 Ambassadors Sally Pearson OAM and Kurt Fearnley OAM, swimming champion and commentator Giaan Rooney OAM, triathlete Ryan Fisher, weightlifter Damon Kelly and cyclist Kristina Clonan were all on hand to help reveal the Baton design, which until today has been a tightly-kept secret.
The design made a spectacular appearance on the stage, illustrated by a four-metre tall hologram.
Made using macadamia wood and reclaimed plastic sourced from Gold Coast waterways, the Baton’s design has been inspired by the region’s vibrant spirit, indigenous heritage and with sustainability in mind.
The Baton’s international sector was also revealed with a hologram of the world map illustrating its journey.
It will place the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia and GC2018 on the world stage as it takes an extraordinary journey through the entire Commonwealth.
The 288-day international sector starts next year at Buckingham Palace on 13 March during Commonwealth Day celebrations, when the Queen places her message within the Baton.
The Baton’s first port of call from London is Sierra Leone. During its global journey, thousands of batonbearers will carry the Queen’s Baton over 230,000km as it makes its way through the six Commonwealth regions of Africa, the Americas, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia and Oceania.
Landing on Australian soil in December 2017, the Baton will spend 100 days travelling through every state and territory before finishing its journey at the GC2018 Opening Ceremony on 4 April 2018.
The Relay’s unique emblem and its international uniforms, which will be worn by thousands of batonbearers, were also on display at the event.
Also in attendance was Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation (GOLDOC) Chairman, Peter Beattie AC, Commonwealth Games Federation Regional Vice President Oceania, Hugh Graham, Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, and City of Gold Coast Mayor, Tom Tate.
Australian ‘Celebration Communities’ and a public Community Batonbearer Nomination program will be revealed in March 2017.
GOLDOC Chairman, Peter Beattie AC:
“Presenting the Queen’s Baton to the world is a major milestone in the GC2018 journey. As we prepare for 11 days of unforgettable world-class sporting competition in just 500 days, the Queen’s Baton will be connecting with people from around the world, building excitement for the Games.
“The Baton is a truly outstanding design and testament to the many hours of work and consultation undertaken by Queensland company Designworks.
“The GC2018 Queen’s Baton Relay will be the longest and the most accessible Relay ever.
“And we have a great team working through the planning to ensure all areas of this journey are, like the Games, delivered on time and on budget.”
Commonwealth Games Federation President, Louise Martin CBE said “The Queen’s Baton Relay is a much-loved Games tradition – an epic journey that unites the cultures and communities of our diverse and dynamic Commonwealth. One single baton passes between thousands of young people and communities across many terrains and timezones – carrying and protecting Her Majesty’s message to the athletes and citizens of the Commonwealth.
“We hope as many people as possible get to hold or celebrate the baton as we bring a piece of the Games to every participating nation and territory in the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.”
Premier of Queensland, Annastacia Palaszczuk MP added “It is fantastic Designworks, a local Brisbane business, won this prestigious tender and the Baton was designed and manufactured right here in Queensland.
“Designworks’ innovative Baton design will tour 70 Commonwealth nations and territories, which is great exposure for a Queensland company.
“It highlights the strength of our state’s creative industries that a local company were chosen to be the design and manufacturing team behind the Queen’s Baton.”
Minister for the Commonwealth Games, Stirling Hinchliffe MP said “Local company Designworks now have their footprint on the world, with their baton set to travel 230,000 kilometres around the globe in the lead up to the Games.
“The eye-catching Baton design, is distinctively Australian and really captures the vibrancy and spirit of the Gold Coast, while also celebrating our Indigenous heritage and commitment to sustainability.”
Paralympic gold medallist and GC2018 Ambassador, Kurt Fearnley OAM said “It’s an honour to be part of today’s celebrations in my new role as a GC2018 Ambassador. And it’s a fitting opportunity to show how cleverly the Baton has been designed with accessibility in mind.
“It’s loop shape makes different grip positions possible, so that everyone can handle it comfortably. And a specially-designed harness and adaptor means people who may not be able to carry it in their hand can also share the Baton’s journey.”
City of Gold Coast Mayor, Tom Tate added “This is a very special day for all Gold Coast residents. This Baton says so much about who we are, where we come from, our past, present and our future.
“It tells a story that every Gold Coaster can identify with, whether it’s the hinterland, our ever-evolving city or the incredible coastline we call home.
“This Baton will travel the Commonwealth and shine a spotlight on our city and the great Games we will host in 500 days.”
GOLDOC CEO, Mark Peters said “To be a part of a major milestone in the GC2018 journey is a proud moment for all of us and heralds another milestone in our promise to deliver an unforgettable global Games.
“This Baton, on its travels and the many thousands of batonbearers will share their own stories about community, about sport, athletes and about the Commonwealth Games and its 86-year history.
“We’ve only 500 days to go until the biggest event this country and in fact the entire Oceania region will see in more than 10 years.”
Designworks Alexander Wall said “Designing the GC2018 Queen’s Baton has been an opportunity of a lifetime, and an unforgettable personal journey for our team.
“The result that you see today could not have been possible without the support and input of the Gold Coast community. Our immersion into the Gold Coast revealed a city rich in contrasts and full of optimism – if you can do it anywhere, you can do it here.
“We hope the boundless energy of the Gold Coast is felt in the many hands that carry the Baton and the Queen’s message across the Commonwealth.”