Queen’s baton plunges into Indian Ocean
Lindsay Skoll, British high commissioner to Seychelles 23 January 2014 (Seychelles News Agency)
(Seychelles News Agency) - The Queen's baton made its first plunge underwater in the depths of Seychelles islands, one wet and exotic stop on its journey around the Commonwealth countries of the world ahead of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
British high commissioner to Seychelles Lindsay Skoll took the Queen’s baton for a dive this morning and was later joined onshore by the Seychelles Paralympic athletes in the relay, who will be attending the games.
In reception last night in honour of the baton's arrival in Sychelles, Skoll stated: “The Paralympic Association athletes who join us tomorrow (Thursday) will do so as true equals with those who proudly ran today -- not as a mere addition to the baton’s programme, not as mere window dressing for equality, but as rightful, equal members of the Queen’s baton relay team and members of the Commonwealth family.”
The baton leaves Seychelles this afternoon, heading for Malawi.
The Queen’s baton relay was launched in a ceremony at the Buckingham Palace October 9, 2013 by the head of the Commonwealth, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.Inside the specially designed baton is her message to all athletes to be read at the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games July 23, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland.
Member of the Commonwealth since 1976, the Seychelles which has a population of around 90 000, took part in its first Commonwealth Games in Auckland in 1990 and every four years after that.
The Indian Ocean nation won its first medal, a bronze medal by Boxer Rival Payet, at the 1994 Games in Victoria, Canada. Boxing talent gave Seychelles 2 silver medals 4 years later at the 1998 games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, won by Roland Raforme and Gerry Legras. At the Melbourne Games in 2006 Athletics and weightlifting raised Seychelles flags, as athlete Celine Laporte and lifter Janet Georges won a bronze medal each.Weightlifter Janet Georges went on to win another Commonwealth games medal as she snatched a Silver medal in the Women's 69kg final at the Delhi Games in 2010.