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Thursday, October 19, 2017

The Queen's Baton Relay



When Jamie buzzed me about my interest in taking part in the Malaysian leg of the Gold Coast XXI Commonwealth Games 2018 Queen's Baton Relay, I instantly jumped on board. The Gold Coast has always held a special place in my heart. 

So, there I was on a bright, clear and sunny morning with the gang, all ready to be a part of a historic once in a lifetime experience. Being the slightly crazy people that we are, Jamie, Choon Yuen, Piew and me decided that we'd head there early and get in a pre-run. 


We'll grab any opportunity for added mileage cos that's the way we are. Besides, we were hoping to catch the morning sun and take some vain shots at the same time with the National Stadium as our backdrop.

Once that was out of the way, we made our way to get ready for the start of the event and go down the annals of history. The place was already buzzing with invited participants, former and current national athletes and officials. 

With the GCM crew.

As always, Jamie, Choon Yuen and me are always on the lookout for any photo opportunities that we can get, we're vain that way ... haha! There was lots of opportunities, that's for sure and we even had the opportunity to handle the baton way before the start of the event. And boy, the amount of pictures and poses we got with the baton was just too many to count.

With Farah Ann, our national gymnast and Choon Yuen, the Ironman!

The baton, that personifies the connection between the ocean and the land with its selection of contrasting materials and finishes. The warm, natural, earthy macadamia wood contrasts the bright, structured reclaimed plastic leading edge. Separated by a stainless steel stringer, you can see the linear reflection of the coastline and hinterland in the Baton’s form. 

The fooling around never ends!

The Macadamia wood, which is native to the Gold Coast region, used on the back of the Baton represents Gold Coast's past and serves as an important symbol and example of traditional indigenous sustainable cultural practice.

The mirror finish of the stainless steel stringer will create a literal reflection of the Baton’s present surrounds everywhere it travels. Laser-engraved in sequential order are the three- digit alpha codes of all nations and territories of the Commonwealth, providing a visual depiction of the epic journey the Queen’s Baton will take.

An unbelievable feeling.
Pic courtesy of Li Leen.

The Queen's message, that will be placed inside is printed on a special paper made from Spinifex; a grass-like plant that has extensive traditional indigenous uses will see its way across the world within 388 days before arriving in the beach side city of the Gold Coast of Australia. 

A selfie with Borobi was a given!

While waiting for the start Borobi, the blue surfing Koala, the official mascot that flew in (yes, Koala's know how to take airplane rides) all the way from the Gold Coast for the games made his appearance and was an instant hit and most sought after figure for pictures. Of cos, who could resist a photo op with Borobi so I joined in the queue for pictures!

The team behind Borobi!

Soon enough, the event proper started with the first group leading the way around a 1.3k loop of the majestic National Stadium. We were in the fourth group and were one of the most vocal and slightly crazy of groups much to the amusement of the master of ceremonies. We were finally flagged off and was now part of a historic event for the games. With the baton in hand, we made our way around the stadium handing off the baton to each and everyone for the experience of  a lifetime.

The start of our group's turn.
Pic Courtesy of Max Lim.

I was filled with pride when it came to my turn to hold on to the monumental Baton and I could hardly contain my joy. Here I was, with the very Baton that will eventually land in the Gold Coast was clutched in my own hands. It was a little surreal and hard to believe. Of course, thoughts of running off for home with the Baton and gaining international recognition and fame wasn't far off from my mind ... hahaha! 

An unbelievable moment to be holding the Baton!
Pic Courtesy of ET Tey.

I was humbled and honoured at the end of the day to be a part of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games 2018 Queen's Baton Relay and will cherish the experience for a lifetime. We all finally headed for some food nearby at the New Chapter by Owls Cafe for some coffee and food and to share our experience of the relay.

With Edan, Choon Yuen and Mui Khim, who made this historic moment possible

The XXI Commonwealth Games 2018 will be held in the beach side city of the Gold Coast from the 4th-15th April 2018. This will mark the 5th time that Australia has hosted the games. For more detailed information about the games and Queensland, please do head on these site at www.GC2018.com and www.queensland.com.

The smile sums it up.
Pic courtesy of Jamie.

Before I end the post, I'd like to thank Tourism and Events Queensland for the invite to take part in this historic event and the hospitality they showed me during the entire event! 


Monday, October 16, 2017

Media Release - GC2018 Queen’s Baton Relay

Monday, October 16, 2017

GC2018 Queen’s Baton Relay













Baton visit will put Malaysia in world spotlight

  • Longest relay in Commonwealth Games history ends at Australia’s Gold Coast
  • Welcome mat out for thousands of tourists to visit host city for 2018 Games
  • Malaysian residents in Australia expected to turn out in force to cheer for Team Malaysia athletes
  • Borobi, the blue surfing koala and official mascot for the 2018 Games, will fly in specially from the Gold Coast to join the Baton Relay in Kuala Lumpur

Malaysia will welcome the 2018 Commonwealth Games Queen’s Baton Relay this October as part of the longest and most accessible relay in Commonwealth history on the way to the host city, Australia’s Gold Coast. The XXI Commonwealth Games, to be held in Australia’s premier beachside city of the Gold Coast from 4-15 April 2018, are set to be one of the most memorable and picturesque Games ever staged.

The Games will involve more than 6600 athletes and officials with thousands of international visitors expected to flock to the popular holiday city known for its golden beaches, world-class attractions and easy-going lifestyle. The Queen’s Baton Relay (QBR) began at Buckingham Palace on Commonwealth Day, Monday, March 13, 2017, when Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will place her message to the Commonwealth inside the GC2018 Baton.

The Baton will travel 230,000km over 388 days through 70 Commonwealth nations on its journey to, and across, Australia and eventually to the Gold Coast for the Games’ Opening Ceremony where the Queen’s message will be read. The Baton will arrive in Kuala Lumpur on Monday, October 16, 2017 before departing on Saturday, October 21 for Brunei. The Malaysian stop will see Borobi, the blue surfing koala and official mascot for the 2018 Games, flying in specially from the Gold Coast to join the Queen’s Baton Relay in Malaysia.

The distinctive loop design of the Baton was unveiled at a ceremony on the Gold Coast on Sunday, 20 November 2016 in conjunction with celebrations of the 500 Days to Go milestone until the Games.

Made of macadamia wood and reclaimed plastic collected from Gold Coast waterways and beaches, the Baton’s design was inspired by the region’s vibrant spirit, indigenous heritage and with sustainability in mind.

The Baton, similar to an enlarged eye of a needle, has constantly changing neon lighting pulsing around the inside of the loop design and a see-through compartment on the side which will contain the Queen’s message, written on paper made from the Australian desert plant, spinifex grass.

The names of all 70 Commonwealth countries are engraved, in the order of hosting the QBR, on a metal spine through the middle of the Baton. It also contains a GPS device which will allow 24/7 internet tracking of the Baton on its worldwide journey.

Designers said they were inspired by the “boundless energy” of the Gold Coast and believe the “bold and beautiful” Baton reflects the “people, place and spirit of the Gold Coast”

“Our immersion into the Gold Coast revealed a city rich in contrasts and full of optimism – if you can do it anywhere, you can do it here,” said Designworks principal Alexander Wall.

The Baton is certain to get a warm welcome in Malaysia, a nation with strong ties to the Commonwealth Games. It has contested 12 of the previous Games (including the preceding British Empire Games) and hosted the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur. Malaysian athletes have won 181 Commonwealth Games medals including 52 gold. At the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Malaysia finished 12th overall with 19 medals, including six gold.

Malaysian athletes will again be highly competitive at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games and are expected to feature prominently in sports including Badminton, Track Cycling, Weightlifting, Gymnastics, Diving, Shooting and Lawn Bowls.

When visiting the Gold Coast to support Team Malaysia at the Games next April, Malaysians are encouraged to take some time to meet the friendly locals and discover everything the Gold Coast has to offer, including:

  • the cosmopolitan beach lifestyle
  • vibrant, trendy cafĂ© and dining scene
  • colourful weekend markets
  • the chance to cuddle a koala
  • traverse the top of Q1, Australia’s tallest residential building on the SkyPoint Climb
  • Hot Air Ballooning
  • thrilling theme parks
  • Skydive, landing on one of the Gold Coast’s iconic beaches
  • Learn to Surf
  • and so much more!

The QBR has been the traditional curtain raiser to every Commonwealth Games since the Cardiff 1958 British Empire and Commonwealth Games.

Commonwealth Games Federation President, Louise Martin CBE, said a message from the Monarch had been read at every Games since 1930.

“The Queen’s Baton Relay extends an invitation to the athletes and communities of the Commonwealth to celebrate together,” she said.

“It reinforces our shared love of sport and recognises the power of sport to transcend barriers and bring us together.

“Above all, however, it is a message from Her Majesty of hope, ambition and peace for the citizens and athletes of the Commonwealth.

“It is a truly exciting moment to share the international route of the 2018 Queen’s Baton Relay, so that communities and citizens across the Commonwealth can join the build up to the XXI Commonwealth Games.”

Peter Beattie AC, the Chairman of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation (GOLDOC), said “The Baton will return to the Gold Coast in April 2018, having been touched, admired, photographed, filmed and loved by so many people from all over the Commonwealth,” he said.

For more information on Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games™ visit www.gc2018.com & for destination information visit www.queensland.com