Vice-President Alhaji Dr Mahamudu Bawumia Tuesday received the Queen’s Relay Baton for the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Ghana, expressing optimism that Ghana’s participation in the games would bring more laurels to the country.
The next Commonwealth Games, slated for April 2018, and christened the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, will take place in Australia.
He recounted that Ghana had been a member of the Commonwealth since 1957 when the country attained independence.
“So we have been in the Commonwealth for 60 years and we have participated in every Commonwealth Games since then, except the 1969 Edinburgh games, and we have done reasonably well,” he said.
The relay baton would travel through 70 countries of the Commonwealth. It started from Sierra Leone and Ghana is the second country that the baton has come to.
Alhaji Dr Bawumia expressed appreciation to the Queen of England for her goodwill message and her passion for Africa, and said hopefully this time around, with the games taking place in the Gold Coast, Ghana’s affinity for the Gold Coast would reflect in the numbers and quality of the medals that would be won by the country’s contingent.
He, therefore, called on all Ghanaians to embrace the baton wherever it would go.
Ghana Olympic Committee
The President of the Ghana Olympic Committee (GOC), Mr Ben Nunoo Mensah, explained that the baton came with the message of peace from the Queen which signified the country’s special role and attachment to the Queen and the Commonwealth.
He gave an assurance that Ghana’s contingent to the Gold Coast games in Australia would help to bring more finesse to the games.
Mr Nunoo Mensah said on the 52 occasions that Ghana had participated in the games, a total of 15 medals had been won and expressed the hope that this time around, the Ghanaian contingent would bring a different story of untold victories to Ghanaians in general.
Mr Marian Boyo from the Commonwealth Games Federation said the main reason for the baton being in Ghana was to ensure that as many people from Ghana touched and also read the message that the Queen had placed in it.
She said the Queen was particularly excited about Africa and all the excitement contingents from the continent, especially Ghana, had brought to the games in the past.