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President’s Voice ÔÇô Gideon Sam
- Updated: February 23, 2014
The 2014 Commonwealth Games Queen’s Baton Relay has come and gone and a great time was had by all who came into contact with it.
Opportunities were created to get messages across to communities using the values that the Commonwealth stand for.
Values of respect, cooperation, ┬áunity and good governance were just some of values that we talked about as we reached out to communities carrying the baton to them.
Seeing some of our senior athletes coming out in big numbers gave a clear signal to us that they are ready and willing to compete in the Commonwealth Games of Glasgow in a couple of months time.
The metro’s that helped SASCOC put the programme together deserve special mention because they really rolled out the red carpet for the delegation that accompanied the baton.
The Federations assisted their athletes to get a feel of what to expect when they arrive in Glasgow. Hosting the baton here in South Africa also gave us an opportunity to showcase some of the beauty of our country.
The BBC coverage of the baton relay through our cities created opportunities for people watching BBC,┬áto see some of the spectacular sites that we have. The Apartheid Museum, Voortrekker Monument, Freedom Park and the new Madiba statue ┬át the Union Buildings were some of the ┬áiconic areas that the baton visited.
The handover of the baton to the next team to take it to St Helena and further was against the backdrop of beautiful Table Mountain. The South African Rugby Union was kind to host the farewell function at their wonderful rugby experience facility at the Cape Town Waterfront.
The next time we see the baton will be at the opening ceremony of the Games if Glasgow on the 23rd of July, when Her Majesty, ┬áthe Queen of England will read the message contained in the baton, ┬áto almost two billion citizens of the Commonwealth.
On the sporting front, well done to Kevin Anderson for reaching the final of the Delray Beach Open tennis tournament and to Stephen Mokoka and Nolene Conrad who won the titles at the SA 10km road running championships in Bloemfontein.
It was also good to see the continual improvement of our women’s tug-of-war team. They won a bronze medal at the World Games in Colombia last year and now they’ve done the same at the world indoor championships in Ireland.