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Baton takes to the skies to begin epic global relay

International / Glasgow 2014
Bagpipes met Bollywood as the Queen’s Baton for next year’s Commonwealth Games left from Glasgow Airport this afternoon to begin a mammoth 190,000km, 248-day international journey starting in India, home to the last 2010 Commonwealth Games.

The baton, fresh from its successful and moving launch at Buckingham Palace, was a very special item at the airport check-in as it was given a colourful send-off to its first stop in Delhi.

Dancers from the Desi Bravehearts and piper Johnny Gauld performed at the airport on the red carpet rolled out towards the Emirates desk, the Official Airline of the Queen’s Baton Relay, alongside the Scottish, Commonwealth Games Federation and Glasgow 2014 flags.

The baton was carried by Louise Martin, Honorary Secretary of the Commonwealth Games Federation.

It had started its first official day in Scotland in the heart of the country in Stirling, where the search was launched for up to 4,000 special people Commonwealth Games Scotland and Glasgow 2014 need to be the batonbearers carrying this unique symbol of Games during the 40 days it will tour the country through every local authority area on its return next year.

The baton also appeared at a special civic reception hosted by the Lord Provost of Glasgow, Sadie Docherty, at Glasgow City Chambers.

From today and until next June, the baton will visit every nation and territory of the Commonwealth landing first in Delhi and then building excitement around the world for the largest multi-sport event Scotland has ever hosted.

The Queen’s Baton Relay is a unique tradition that unites two billion citizens of the Commonwealth in a celebration of sport, diversity and peace and rallies 4,500 athletes from the 70 nations and territories to prepare for the Games.

At the baton’s core is a special message, placed inside by Her Majesty, which will travel throughout the Commonwealth and across the Home Nations before returning to Scotland and featuring at the Opening Ceremony in Glasgow on July 23, 2014.

Yesterday at Buckingham Palace in a ceremony involving Olympic and Commonwealth legends, Sir Chris Hoy and Allan Wells MBE, Scottish athletes, world-renowned classical violinist Nicola Benedetti and young people from Scotland and the Commonwealth, witnessed Her Majesty The Queen, accompanied by His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, placing her message into the beautiful titanium and elm wood Glasgow 2014 Queen’s Baton.

Over 248 days and 190,000km the Baton will visit all the nations and territories of the Commonwealth and be the first Baton ever to visit Rwanda.