ALL EYES will be on Blaenau Gwent today as the Glasgow 2014 Queen’s Baton Relay finally arrives.
Having started its epic journey across 70 nations and territories on October 9 last year, the baton will spend the next seven days exploring some of Wales’ most iconic landmarks.
The baton will spend seven days in Wales, passing through 11 local authorities and covering a distance of approximately 731 miles.
Arriving today, the baton will be carried by 177 baton bearers, from sport stars to celebrities and inspirational members of the community passing the summit of Snowdon to the coastal scenery of St David’s Peninsula.
The relay will showcase what Wales and the Welsh public have to offer from sporting events to cultural activities.
Organisers are keen to ensure that everyone makes the most of this opportunity to be part of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games which will see a team of over 200 athletes representing Wales on the world stage on July 23.
Chris Jenkins, the CEO of Commonwealth Games Wales said: “When the baton arrives in Wales there will be only 60 days to go until the start of Glasgow 2014 and having the curtain-raiser to the Games on our doorstep provides everyone with the chance to feel a part of it.”
Baroness Jenny Randerson will greet the baton bearers at the Street Games event at Ebbw Vale today and Stephen Crabb MP will join the celebrations in St Davids in Pembrokeshire on 28 May.
Meanwhile The Secretary of State for Wales David Jones will mark the culmination of the baton’s journey in Llandegla, Denbighshire, on 30 May, ahead of its handover to England.
Secretary of State for Wales David Jones said: “The Commonwealth Games provides Wales with an opportunity to compete internationally as a nation in its own right. Together, the Commonwealth nations have strong, shared bonds of friendship, culture and heritage. Those values have the opportunity to shine as the Queen’s Baton Relay travels through the British Isles.
“This year, the international spotlight will shine on Wales when it plays host to the NATO Summit, and the Relay will provide us with an early opportunity to highlight Wales’s rich culture, heritage and our passion for sport.”
Wales Office Minister Baroness Jenny Randerson added: “These celebrations will bring the dedication of our athletes, the heart-warming stories of local heroes and the spirit of the Commonwealth Games right to the heart of our local communities.
“Each baton bearer has their own unique story, be they an elite athlete, someone who has overcome adversity or who makes a difference to their community.”
The Argus will be reporting live from the relay today.
Visit our live blog on www.southwalesargus.co.uk to find out more or to get involved Tweet using our hashtag #argusbaton To find out where you can join the Queen’s Baton Relay visit www.teamwales.co.uk/queens-baton-relay-wales-highlights.
You can also follow the baton’s journey across Wales on Twitter using #QBRCymru14 and by following @teamwales.