The Queen’s baton hits Edinburgh today!

Posted on 14/06/2014 by


The Queen’s Baton arrives in Edinburgh this morning

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The relay in Edinburgh, which will mark the start of the baton’s 40 day tour of Scotland ahead of the Commonwealth Games, will offer residents and visitors the opportunity to cheer on the baton and join in community celebrations today.

The Queen’s Baton will be carried through Edinburgh by over 100 batonbearers who have been nominated in recognition of their contributions to sport, community and youth projects, including representatives from the city’s secondary schools.

Councillor Steve Cardownie, Festivals and Events Champion at the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “The relay is a fantastic opportunity for people to take to the streets to show their support for our batonbearers and celebrate Edinburgh’s part to play in the Commonwealth Games.

“It is great that the Queen’s Baton will travel throughout the Capital and into the many communities that make this city so unique.

“As host of the 1970 and 1986 Games, and co-host of this year’s diving event at the Royal Commonwealth Pool, it is fitting that the baton will be brought home to Edinburgh – the only city in the world to welcome Commonwealth Games events for a third time.

“I urge everyone to get into the spirit of the Games and join in the Edinburgh celebrations.”

To signal the start of the relay celebrations in Edinburgh, a Gala Classical Concert was held at the Usher Hall last night. Entitled Edinburgh Raises The Baton, the concert featured the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Edinburgh Royal Choral Union, and the acclaimed pianist Stephen Hough.

Today crowds will get the first glimpse of the Queen’s Baton as it is arrives at Heriot-Watt University, chosen as the site for Scotland’s National Performance Centre for Sport. To celebrate, the Centre will be hosting sports activities for all the family including Gaelic football, dancing and tennis, events for children including a bouncy castle and face painting, as well as community and farmers markets. Further details are available on the Heriot-Watt website.

The relay will move to Murrayfield Stadium where it will board a tram to make its way to the city centre, taking in Edinburgh Castle, where a 21 gun salute at 12:00 noon will mark the Queen’s official birthday celebrations.

The baton will then travel down the Royal Mile to Holyrood Palace where it will signal the start of the City of Edinburgh Council’s School Run Event, which is supported by Games for Scotland and supermarket chain Scotmid.

The School Run is a unique event encouraging school age children of all abilities to play their part in relay day over a 2.2km route through Holyrood Park and run, jog or walk side by side with sporting stars to raise money for community and school sports facilities. Young people can sign up to the run through their schools.

Both the School Run and the Queen’s Baton Relay will then pass through Holyrood Park to Meadowbank Sports Centre and Stadium, the home of Edinburgh’s previous Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh. At Meadowbank, the Council’s free ‘Tryathon’ event will take place with the opportunity for budding sports stars to try their hand at Commonwealth Games sports and cheer the arrival of the Queen’s Baton.

The relay will then take in more of Edinburgh’s communities including Leith, the Portobello Promenade and Duddingston, before the baton is received at the Royal Commonwealth Pool where a spectacular diving demonstration will be held.

To celebrate the end of the relay, a community concert will be held this evening at the Ross Band Stand in Princes Street Gardens so that even bigger crowds can take part in the festivities.

Tomorrow (Sunday June 15), the Queen’s Baton will travel to South Queensferry anf the baton will then go on to visit all other local authorities in Scotland.

Cabinet Secretary for Commonwealth Games Ms Robison, said:“The Queen’s Baton Relay is an exciting and dynamic countdown to the Games and offers the perfect opportunity for communities across the whole of Scotland to share in the pride and excitement of what look to be the best and most successful Games ever.

“When the Baton arrives into Scotland and the Capital on the 14 June, I urge everyone to join in with the celebrations and events across Edinburgh, and surrounds, and in particular to come out and support the wide range of inspirational baton bearers as they carry this enduring symbol of the Games in their local areas.”

Nick Finnigan, Executive Manager of Edinburgh Castle said: “Edinburgh Castle has witnessed many hundreds of years of history and continues to provide a spectacular backdrop for history in the making today.

“We are delighted to be welcoming the Queen’s Baton relay to the castle, and I am sure that its arrival will provide a great spectacle for visitors to the castle.”

Professor Steve Chapman, Principal of Heriot-Watt University, said: “We are very pleased that the first Scottish leg of the Baton Relay is through our Edinburgh Campus and right past what will be the site for the new National Performance Centre for Sport.”