Sri Lanka is 25th Destination for Queen’s Baton Relay


The 16th Queen’s Baton Relay 2021 / 2022 relating to the XX11 Commonwealth Games Birmingham 2022 in England is on a 294 day journey across the world covering the 72 Nations & Territories of the former British Empire. Sri Lanka became the 25th stop on a 03 day presence in the island nation.

It was a combined effort by the Ministry of Youth & Sports, The British High Commission in Sri Lanka, The British Council in Sri Lanka, The Commonwealth Games Association representative The National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka.

The Queen’s Baton was received at the Katunayake Airport by two medal winners at past Commonwealth Games in the presence of the local Baton Manager. After the ceremony at the Airport, it was brought in a special motorcade to the Independence Square premises, a historic landmark in the country. Specially invited past Commonwealth Games participants, representatives of some National Sports Organizations, representatives of some sponsors of major sports & distinguished special invitees were gathered to welcome the Queen’s Baton in the afternoon. Thereafter, it was taken in a colorful procession to the Hemasiri Fernando Auditorium of the Olympic House. At the Official Welcome Ceremony, Her Excellency the British High Commissioner, representatives of the Ministry of Youth & Sports as well as the National Olympic Committee were present. The special feature of the occasion was the sharing of an untold story by the first Sri Lankan to summit Mount Everest. Later in the evening, another ceremony was held at the British High Commission in Colombo, with a few celebrities also invited.

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On the 03rd day, the Queen’s Baton arrived at the Kirkoswald Estate in Bogawanthalawa, Hatton. The tea plantation was selected to focus the attention of the world to the exquisite taste of the world famous beverage, Ceylon Tea. It also depicted the influence of the Colonial presence in Sri Lanka ( Ceylon as it was known during that time ) to signify the connection between the prestigious Commonwealth Games & Sri Lanka. A cultural pageant by school children was also included in the programme. The next event in the morning was at the Ceylon School for the Deaf & Blind in Ratmalana. Former sports stars were also participating in the event. A special prayer was delivered by the Bishop of the Diocese of Colombo. Later in the afternoon, the Baton was handed over to the Minister of Youth & Sports at the Independence Square. A string of sports activities were seen during this instance. In the evening, the Baton was featured at Temple Trees – the official residence of the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka.

Having arrived from the Maldives, the prestigious Queen’s Baton left Sri Lanka for Bangladesh on the morning of the 04th day to continue the Relay as planned.

Report / Photos courtesy Commonwealth Games Association of Sri Lanka / National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka