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Queen’s Baton receives warm TCI welcome PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Friday, 09 April 2010 13:17

The Queen’s Baton 2010 Delhi en route to India for the XIX Commonwealth Games 2010 Delhi’s opening ceremony reached the Turks and Caicos Islands on Easter Sunday, April 3.

The baton landed to a welcoming committee including His Excellency the Gov. Gordon Wetherell and Tourist Board Director Ralph Higgs.

The baton, which was lit up with the colours of the TCI, was received by Rita Gardiner, president of the Turks and Caicos Islands Commonwealth Games Association, and Commonwealth Games Regional Vice-President Caribbean Fortuna Belrose. Gardiner welcomed the visiting delegation who travelled along with the baton. Upon receiving the baton, she commented at her pride and joy that the TCI was a part of this historic event.

The Turks and Caicos was the 46th visit for the group on their almost year-long trip around the world to promote the Commonwealth Games to begin in Delhi on Oct. 3. In total the baton will have traveled more than 190,000 kilometres in 340 days.
Ten athletes will be representing the TCI at the games in India this fall. It was the second time the Commonwealth games baton travelled through the country, the first being four years ago in 2006.

Also in attendance to receive the baton upon its arrival in Providenciales was Chef de Misions Shenwell Gardiner, who will be leading the TCI delegation to the games later this year. Shenwell Gardiner recently returned from his Chef de Misions training in India to prepare him for the event. He said the event was a challenging experience, but he is looking forward to leading the team in October.

The baton flew on Monday morning to the island of Grand Turk, where it was again received with much fanfare. Lee Astwood, a shooter (small bore and rapid fire pistol) and TCI’ first competing athlete in the Commonwealth Games (1972), became the first batonbearer of the day. He was followed by his son Edwin Astwood, weightlifting coach, and his daughter Kahlila Astwood, karate coach, with some school children and the members of the Indian community of Grand Turks.

The baton then travelled to Salt Cay by a boat where it was relayed by enthusiastic batonbearers.

It travelled by plane back to Provo on Monday evening before another day’s journey which took it to North and Middle Caicos on Tuesday.

The baton’s TCI trek ended at the Opus restaurant in Providenciales with a cultural show by David Bowen. Rita Gardiner closed the ceremonial trip by wishing the delegates well on their ongoing trip through the Commonwealth and said she looked forward to the competition in October.

 

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