Tom Daley and Zane Duquemin Kick Off Queens Baton Relay in British Isles

Travel News Asia Videos Podcasts Latest Travel News Asia Monday, 12 May 2014

On Sunday, Glasgow 2014 ambassador and Olympic and Commonwealth medalist Tom Daley brought the Queens Baton back to British shores in a packed welcoming ceremony in the picturesque Jersey harbour of St Aubin, the first stop on the British Isles for the relay.

Tom Daley was joined by 23 year-old Team Jersey medal hopeful and British Indoor Championship shot-putter Zane Duquemin.

Arriving in to the harbour on Jersey Ports Pilot Boat just after 18:00 and cheered on by hundreds of local well-wishers, they carried the Queens Baton into the historic harbour where young athletes including 12-year old club swimmers Robbie Jones and Fran Stubbings welcomed them in a public ceremony, officially kicking off the home leg of the Queens Baton Relay.

In addition to the crowds of fans and supporters, the event was also attended by a number of Jersey athletes, past and present, as well as Lord Smith of Kelvin, the Chairman of the Organising Committee of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Earlier that afternoon, over 100 local young athletes, many of whom hope to represent Team Jersey at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and beyond, were given the opportunity to attend an informal Q&A session with the Glasgow 2014 ambassador, and hear first-hand about the commitment, mind-set and training regime that places Daley amongst the top young sportsmen in the world.

The baton touched down at Jersey Airport at 15:40, guided to safe ground by Air Traffic Controller Simon Militias, a former Commonwealth Games medallist who won bronze at the Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games. Officials from Jerseys Commonwealth Games Association, including its President Alan Cross, received the baton from European Vice-President of the Commonwealth Games Federation, Chris Jenkins, in a short, private ceremony before the baton was passed to the 19-year old superstar diver for its dramatic reveal to the British public.

For the next 32 days the relay will journey through Jersey, Guernsey, Isle of Man, Northern Ireland, Wales and England, rallying athletes as they get ready to compete for medals in Glasgow, and encouraging everyone to get behind their Home Teams.

When it reaches Scotland on 14 June 2014 the baton will embark on a 40-day journey through 400 communities across Scotland. Up to 4,000 people will carry Her Majestys message, before it is read aloud at the Opening Ceremony on 23 July 2014.

Preparations for the Games are well-advanced and enjoy huge public support. The first round of ticket sales attracted 2.3 million ticket requests for up to 1 million tickets. Today (12 May), offers up the last big opportunity to purchase tickets as over 100,000 extra tickets are put on sale to the general public.

Glasgow 2014 Ambassador Tom Daley, said, Its been a huge honour to be the first baton bearer on the British Isles, Ive had a great time today in Jersey. Glasgow 2014 is a huge focus for me and feeling the enthusiasm and support of the crowds and the commitment of the young athletes I had the opportunity to meet today makes the Commonwealth Games feel very real. Its mad to think that the baton has already travelled over 190,000 kilometres around the Commonwealth and will be carried by more than 4,000 people on its journey round the Home Nations. Im so pleased I got to play a part in the relay what a great thing to be a part of.

Zane Duquemin, Team Jersey athlete and British Indoor Shot Put Champion, said, There was such buzz and excitement when Tom and I brought the Queens Baton into St Aubin harbour here in Jersey; it really makes the countdown to the Games very real!  This is a huge milestone for me personally and its focused my mind on training to put myself in the best possible position for a place on the podium in Glasgow this summer.

Commonwealth Games, Glasgow 2014, Baton, Scotland, Glasgow

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