The sports fraternity and sports enthusiasts in the state are a excited lot as the Queen’s Baton Relay for the XXI Commonwealth Games (to held in Australia next year) will reach Uttarakhand on October 5 and will pass through six cities of Uttarakhand for two days by eminent sportspersons hailing from the state. Calling it a proud occasion for the state as the Queen’s Baton is being taken to only a few states in the country, sports officials said that the Baton would first reach Pantnagar from Delhi, following which it will be taken to Haldwani and Nainital. Thereafter, the baton relay will continue to Rishikesh, Haridwar and finally to Dehradun. The last time the Queen’s Baton came to Uttarakhand was during the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
The 2018 Commonwealth Games, which will see participation from 70 countries, will be held in Gold Coast, Australia, in April 2018. The baton relay is similar to the Olympic Torch Relay and it has already been carried to 51 countries before India following which it will be taken to Bangladesh and eventually reaching the host country on December 24, 2017.
On Commonwealth Day on March 13, 2017, the Gold Coast 2018 Queen’s Baton Relay was launched at Buckingham Palace, signalling the official countdown to the start of the Games. The 2018 Queen’s Baton Relay is the longest in the history of the Commonwealth Games and will cover a distance of approximately 2,30,000 km in 388 days, will traverse through the Commonwealth regions of Asia, Australia, Africa and others. After reaching Australia in December, it will be carried across the host country for 100 days till the Games start on April 4, 2018.