From Ber­muda to Belize, via Tim Hor­tons Field

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - STEVE MIL­TON

It will be the third time the ba­ton — which her­alds the im­pend­ing Com­mon­wealth Games — comes to Hamil­ton; but the first time that it will be at the lo­ca­tion where the orig­i­nal Games were held.

On Fri­day morn­ing at 10 a.m. sharp, the Queen’s Ba­ton Re­lay (QBR) will be car­ried into Tim Hor­tons Field, which sits on the same par­cel of land that Civic Sta­dium — later re­named Ivor Wynne Sta­dium — did when it was built for the in­au­gu­ral Com­mon­wealth Games here in 1930.

The pub­lic is in­vited to the ar­rival cer­e­mony. Ad­mis­sion, through Gate 3 be­gin­ning at 9:30 a.m., is free of charge and seat­ing is avail­able in the sec­tion 108.

The QBR came to Hamil­ton in 2010 when the cer­e­mony was held out­side Ivor Wynne Sta­dium; and in 2014 when fes­tiv­i­ties took place at Scott Park Arena while Tim’s field was un­der con­struc­tion.

The ba­ton left Buck­ing­ham Palace on March 13, and, af­ter trav­el­ling 230,000 kms in 388 days through 70 na­tions, it will ar­rive at the Gold Coast Com­mon­wealth Games for its April 4, 2018 Open­ing Cer­e­monies.

Sealed in­side is a mes­sage to the Games’ ath­letes from Queen El­iz­a­beth II.

The CANUSA Games re­lay team will ac­com­pany one of the mem­bers of the Gold Coast Queen’s Ba­ton Re­lay team into the sta­dium, where sev­eral promi­nent lo­cal fig­ures and for­mer Com­mon­wealth Games ath­letes will take part in the ba­ton ex­change cer­e­mony.

Mas­ters sprint cham­pion Bill Thomp­son, of Hamil­ton; John Ariyo, the city’s man­ager of com­mu­nity ini­tia­tives; Michael Joseph, a black belt in karate; and wheel­chair ten­nis cham­pion Frank Peter will be com­mu­nity ba­ton bear­ers.

Ath­letes from Hamil­ton and south­ern On­tario rep­re­sent­ing each decade of Com­mon­wealth Games will take part in the ba­ton ex­change. Vi Histed, who com­peted at the 1934 Games is ill, and will be rep­re­sented by her grand­daugh­ter. Other for­mer Games par­tic­i­pants on hand will be Don McFar­lane; Ce­cilia Carter-Smith, who is Hamil­ton’s QBR lo­cal chair; Janet Nut­ter, Chris Wood­croft, Paula Sch­nurr, Sue Palmer-Ko­mar, Reid Cool­saet, Tara Quinn-Smith, and Josh Cas­sidy.

Martha Dea­con, chef de mis­sion for Delhi 2010 and OFSAA dou­ble gold medal­list Tiana Lo Strocco, a hope­ful for the 2018 Games, will also be part of the ex­change.

The ba­ton ar­rives in Canada on Thurs­day from Ber­muda, and will visit the Edmonton, Vic­to­ria and Van­cou­ver, the other three Canadian ci­ties that have played host to the Com­mon­wealth Games, be­fore de­part­ing for Belize.

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