Her Majesty the Queen launched the Glasgow 2014 Queen's Baton Relay at Buckingham Palace earlier today (Wednesday 9 October) at a public ceremony featuring Scotland's greatest-ever Commonwealth and Olympic athletes, Allan Wells MBE and Sir Chris Hoy MBE. The ceremony was attended by Commonwealth and Games dignitaries and broadcast live on BBC One.
Sprint legend Allan Wells, winner of two Commonwealth Golds and the 100m Olympic sprint title at the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games, was the first athlete to receive the Baton from the Queen and start it on its historic journey round the 71 nations and territories of the Commonwealth, calling the 4,500 athletes to Glasgow for the Games.
Lord Smith of Kelvin, Glasgow 2014 Chairman, said: "The Queen's Baton Relay is a great tradition of the Commonwealth Games and a wonderful opportunity for Glasgow and Scotland to share our culture and heritage with the citizens of the Commonwealth. The QBR has the power to create memorable moments none more so than seeing the UK's greatest Olympian Sir Chris Hoy and Scotland's most successful Commonwealth athlete Allan Wells taking part in the ceremony."
First Minister, Alex Salmond, commented: "The start of the Queen's Baton Relay, with two of Scotland greatest ever athletes, is another step towards what will be a momentous year for Scotland. 2014 promises the greatest ever Games, and the Relay will provide a fantastic celebration of sport and culture across the Commonwealth, with Glasgow and Scotland at its heart."
The news comes in the same week that 'Clyde-siders' was unveiled as the name for the Commonwealth Games volunteers. The name was chosen by the Glasgow 2014 frontrunners, the pre-Games volunteers who conducted all of the volunteer interviews. As well as being a reference to the Games mascot Clyde, the name is also a deliberate nod to the famous and historic river which runs through Glasgow and provides a focal point for the city's residents.
For more information, visit the Glasgow 2014 website.