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Queen’s Baton On Land and Sea

Tortola, British Virgin Islands, March 30, 2010 – The BVI Olympic Committee bid farewell to the international crew and the Queen's Baton Relay 2010 Delhi at the Terrence B. Lettsome International Airport last Thursday. The relay was continuing to Anguilla, the forty second country to be visited on the baton's tour of all seventy one Commonwealth nations. The historic occasion was brought to the Virgin Islands' public from March 23 through March 24 in a community-wide programme of relays and events held in Tortola and Virgin Gorda.

Ms Di Henry, event specialist for the Queen's Baton Relay 2010 Delhi, commended the programme as being 'one of the most exciting events' the touring group had experienced.

Photo by Melvin Lettsome.

The success of the relays and events relied on the commitment and participation of all facets of the BVI community. The BVIOC, host of the Queen's Baton Relay 2010 Delhi was appreciative of the cooperation of all segments involved in the promotion and execution of the programme. Mr Ephraim Penn, president of the BVIOC stated that the successful roll out of the relay's visit to the Territory was a testament to the spirit of unity, harmony and pride in the Virgin Islands.

"The BVIOC could not have achieved this level of success without the dedicated involvement of the key stakeholders and volunteers," said Mr Ephraim Penn, president of the BVIOC. "It was a true demonstration of the community coming together to showcase the best of the BVI in sports, culture and hospitality. Not only did we benefit from the experience and commitment of the members of the Steering Committee but we were able to realise our plans thanks to the financial support from the Governor's Office, the Premier's Office, the Ministry for Education, Culture and Sports, the National Bank of the Virgin Islands, Roadtown Wholesale, FirstCaribbean International Bank and the BVI Tourist Board, all of who shared our vision for the relay in the run up to the Commonwealth Games.

"Thanks are also due to the media for their collaboration in promoting and reporting on the event."

Integral to the smooth execution of the itinerary in Tortola and Virgin Gorda were the services provided by the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force, the BVI Red Cross and the media and support vehicles donated by Romney Associates and Speedy's. Coolers and ice given by MB's Ice enabled the BVIOC to distribute cold water and Gatorade to runners and supporters. On the water, media vessels were provided by the VI Shipping Registry and HM Customs. Members of the Leos and Rotary clubs served as ushers and as marshals at the handover stops.

A key figure in the relay was Shera, the mascot of the Queen's Baton Relay 2010 Delhi. Mr Paul George of East End-Long Look played the enthusiastic tiger and enthralled the young and not so young alike.

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Participation at the opening ceremony at the Noel Lloyd Positive Action Movement Park Tuesday, March 23 included performances by the Virgin Islands Cadet Corps, the Althea Scatliffe Drum Corps, Mr Jareem Williams, the HLSCC Brass Ensemble and Mr Vishal Munesar, Ms Hema Bojja, Mrs Renuka Rajkumar and Mrs Monali Ganeshan who sang the Indian national anthem at the end of the ceremony as is customary in India.

The morning relays passed through Road Town and Sea Cow’s Bay and included a sailing leg from the BVI Watersports Centre at Manuel Reef to Road Harbour before coming to an end at the A.O. Shirley Recreation Ground. Relays took place in the afternoon from Cane Garden Bay through Carrot Bay to Apple Bay ending at Bomba’s Shack.

On Wednesday, March 24th, the Premier welcomed the relay to Virgin Gorda at the Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbour. Relays were run through the Valley, to the Baths and the Bregado Flax Educational Center. The baton returned to Trellis Bay, Beef Island at 4.30pm and the final leg of the relays were cycled, run and walked through East End-Long Look to the H Lavity Stoutt Community College.

The Queen’s Baton Relay 2010 Delhi concluded its visit to the Virgin Islands at the HLSCC with a cultural presentation. Featured artists included the Lashing Dogs, The Enis Adams Primary School Dancers, The BVI Heritage Dancers, Calypso Monarch 2009, Makisha Gordon and the BVI Elite Sky Dancers.

The official closing ceremony saw the handover of the baton back to the international crew, symbolising the end of the Queen's Baton Relay 2010 Delhi tour of the BVI.

The final experience for the international crew was the ‘Tastings under the Tent’ presented by the Culinary Arts Department and the Hospitality Club of the HLSCC. The team, assisted by Rotaract, served up tastes of the cuisine and speciality drinks of the BVI and India.

Representatives from several schools, service clubs and many national sporting federations and associations participated in the relays as cyclists, sailors, runners and batonbearers.
 
Batonbearers throughout the territory also included Aliston Potter, J'Moi Penn, Karl Scatliffe, Roger L. Mathavious, Joe Kneipp, Michael Adamson, Sylvester Johnson, J'Koya Fahie, Honorable Julian Frazer, Joseph Wells, Mark Chapman, Ryan Geluk, Vance Lewis, Carvin Malone, Judy Haycraft, Ackim Lewis, Kaetia Maduro, Samantha John, Aliston Blyden, Eric Matthias, Reynold O'Neal, Ereia Smith-Forbes, Akeem David, Lindel 'Chef' Hodge, Tony 'Bonecrusher' Smith, Melvin Turnbull, William Industrious, Tamara & Tafara Phillip,  Liston Farrington, Honourable Andrew Fahie, Shaquor Gumbs, Kay Reddy, Steve Asson, Archibald Christian, Honourable Keith Flax, Irwin Tellemaque, Trevor Stevens, Tony Winchester, Dean 'the Sportsman' Greenaway, Ephraim Penn, Honourable Dancia Penn Sallah, Dawn Peters, Ralston Henry, Quincy Lettsome, Dion Crabbe, Honourable Dr Kedrick Pickering, Dr Anne Monroe, Zebalon McClean.

This was only the second time that the BVI was visited by the Queen's Baton Relay, the first was in August 2005. The relay will continue to India and will arrive at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium Delhi, India on October 3, 2010. The message will be read out by Her Majesty or her representative signifying the end of the relay and the start of the XIX Commonwealth Games 2010 Delhi.

ENDS

Media contact:
Mark Chapman
Chef de Mission
XIX Commonwealth Games 2010 Delhi
Tel: 494 2868
Email:[email protected]

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