Namibia will be hosting the Queen’s Baton Relay for the fifth time when it lands here on 13 December 2021, en route to Birmingham, England, where the Commonwealth Games will take place next year.
Namibia is one of 19 Commonwealth nations on the African continent that will this year participate in the Queen’s Baton Relay, which has been the curtain raiser to every Commonwealth Games since 1958 in Cardiff, Wales.
The relay for the 2022 Games commenced on 7 October 2021, and will travel over 140 000 kilometres for more than 290 days through 72 Commonwealth nations and territories.
Namibia hosted the baton relay in 2005, 2009, 2013 and 2017. It will come to Namibia from South Africa, and then travel to Eswatini.
The Queen’s Baton Relay is one of the great traditions of the Commonwealth Games, and over the years, has evolved into a powerful symbol of unity and diversity of the Commonwealth of Nations.
Speaking at the official announcement yesterday in the capital, Namibia National Olympic Committee (NNOC) president Abner Xoagub said the Queen’s Baton Relay spreads and carries the core values of the Commonwealth Games Federation, which are humanity, equality and destiny.
“It celebrates in bringing people from diverse cultures together, and embodies inspirational stories of baton bearers from all walks of live,” he said.
Xoagub added that the NNOC will strive to involve as many Namibians as possible in the relay, and guarantee the relay will be a memorable event.
Speaking at the same event, executive director in the sports ministry, Audrin Mathe said the arrival of the Queen’s Baton Relay in the country will guarantee Namibia’s readiness for the Commonwealth Games.
“This will also be a perfect opportunity for Namibia to showcase what our country can offer. With the Region Five Games set for December this year, it would mean preparations for the Commonwealth Games continue from there,” he added.
Meanwhile, Deputy High Commissioner of the British High Commission, Charlote Fenton said she knows the people of Namibia will welcome the baton, and embrace the opportunity to share all that the wonderful cultures here have to offer to the world, while “building on the success of the Olympics this year, where we saw personal bests, new national records, and of course Christine Mboma winning the silver medal and setting a new world record”.
She said Birmingham 2022 looks set to be another opportunity to see the best of Namibian athletes shining brightly in the world.