The Queen’s Baton Relay has begun its 294-day journey across the globe with Cyprus, its first port of call outside the UK, on a 140,000 km journey around the Commonwealth.
The Commonwealth Games baton relay started at Buckingham Palace on Thursday before making its way to Cyprus on 9 October.
It will travel to 72 Commonwealth nations and territories, carrying the Queen’s message to the Commonwealth ahead of next year’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
The Games will take place across the West Midlands from 27 July to 8 August 2022.
The baton will begin its journey in Cyprus and pass through all of the districts.
“Cyprus will participate in many sports, and we hope to win even more medals”, Secretary-General of the Cyprus Commonwealth Games Committee Andreas Georgiou told a press conference this week.
“I wish the QBR message reaches all countries and is the starting point for a better world,” he said.
“The Queen’s Baton Relay is a special tradition for the Commonwealth Games, it is organized for the 16th consecutive time, and it is a great opportunity to bring the Commonwealth closer together as we count down to Birmingham 2022.
“The beginning of the journey in Cyprus is a special honour for all of us”, said Deputy British High Commissioner to Cyprus, Ben Rawlings.
On Saturday, the baton will pass through Limassol and Paphos and on Sunday, it will travel to Nicosia, Larnaca and the free area of Famagusta.
Among the “baton bearers” will be British High Commissioner Stephen Lillie, Chairman of the Cyprus Olympic Committee, George Chrysostomou and dozens of Cypriot athletes that competed in the Olympic and Commonwealth Games.
Some 7,500 bearers will carry the baton 140,000 km on a journey lasting 294 days before the Commonwealth Games begin in Birmingham next year.