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Queen's Baton sets off festivities on St Andrews' Day in Scotland

GLASGOW: The Queen’s Baton 2010 Delhi completed its trip to Scotland – the eighth nation on its enchanting journey across the Commonwealth nations and territories – with another hectic day, visiting the Consulate General of India in Edinburgh, Paisley and some iconic locations before returning to the host city of the 2014 Commonwealth Games.


At the Consulate, Consul General Mr Anil Kumar Anand and Consul & HOC Mr S. N. Srinivasan were the VIPs along with Scotland’s First Minister Mr. Alex Salmond. The reception, marking the start of the St. Andrew’s Day festivities, was attended by members of the Indian and Scottish communities, Commonwealth Games Council for Scotland officials and other guests.


The baton went to Edinburgh Castle from where the athletes took part in a short relay to the snowglobe at the Mound. The baton was taken up in the Big Wheel and viewed Christmas decorations in Edinburgh. Followed by a brief visit to the National Galleries where the athletes and guests had the opportunity of viewing the 1986 Edinburgh Commonwealth Games baton.


The baton’s engagements for the day were wound up with a visit to the CGA Scotland dinner hosted by Clydesdale Bank.


Earlier, the baton went to Paisley Town Hall and was met by Provost Ms. Celia Lawson. She said: “It is a huge honour that Renfrewshire has been chosen as one of the destinations for the Queen’s Baton Relay. We will show off not only the beauty of Paisley’s historic town centre but also the great sporting talent and enthusiasm we have here in Renfrewshire.”


Commonwealth Games Federation Vice President Mr. Ian Emmerson, Delhi 2010 aspirants Claire Gibson and Callum Hawkins were the other significant participants in the reception at Paisley where a bagpiper ensured a wonderful start to the day. Renfrewshire Council Leader Derek Mackay said: “It is a great honour that the baton is coming through Renfrewshire and bringing a piece of the Commonwealth Games to Paisley.”


The baton then participated in a relay with students for the Renfrewshire School of Sport Education around the Paisley Abbey. It went across the road to the Lagoon Leisure Centre where primary school children participated in the Renfrewshire Alternative Highland Games and ran a relay with the baton.


The baton made a brief return to Glasgow to visit the Glasgow School of Sport which is dedicated to nurturing talent and ambition of gifted youngsters in athletics, gymnastics, badminton, hockey and swimming. It then drove 45 minutes to the unique Falkirk Wheel where Scotland shooter Jennifer McIntosh and Lord Provost Pat Reid were among the guests.


On Wednesday, the Queen’s Baton 2010 Delhi will leave Glasgow for London on way to Nicosia in Cyprus – the 3649km journey being the longest yet since the Queen’s Baton Relay was launched on October 29. It will have completed a distance of 9447km of international travel.