The tiny and boutique island chain of Bermuda has a reputation for punching well above its weight, in both the able-bodied and para-sport arenas. But never has it sent a more successful team to a major international, multi-sport event than the recent CYG in the Bahamas. In five days of competition against 1,300 young elite athletes, the team brought home to ‘da rock’ three bronze and one gold – its first medals in 17 years of CYG.
At the Windreach Centre, a special adaptor secured the Baton to Paralympian Boccia player Yushae DeSilva-Andrade’s wheelchair during a ‘friendly’ match.
While training young children at the National Stadium’s 50m pool, Commonwealth Games and Olympian diver Katura Horton-Perinchief (Manchester 2002, Athens 2004, Melbourne 2006) said the Baton meant much more than the Games to these children.
The Queen’s Baton Relay is such an amazing event and the best part is that for many of the young ones around 5 years old, they won’t even remember the last Commonwealth Games so it’s their first experience.
One of the nine-year-old girls told me yesterday: Can you believe that everyone around the Commonwealth has touched this Baton? We’re so much more alike than we are different! Everyone is holding the Baton. I can’t wait.
For Horton-Perinchief, memories of Manchester and Melbourne still stand out for being the “friendliest”. But having just been announced as the Chef de Mission for GC2018, she said that while the spirit of comradery will be encouraged, Bermuda will do everything in its power to medal on the Gold Coast.
What else did the Baton do in the big little island of Bermuda?
- Received at King’s Square, St George’s, Bermuda’s oldest established town, 1612.
- Presented to dozens of young girls as part of a Women in Sport Expo at the National Stadium.
- Received by the Governor, John Rankin at Government House and Bermuda’s youngest Premier, David Burt at City Hall.
- Transported by town train in Hamilton City with Bermuda’s national men’s and women’s under 18 rugby sevens teams.
- Inspired young sailors at Sandy’s Boat Club.
- Climbed up 185 stairs in the hands of tourists to the top of Gibbs Hill Lighthouse.
- Engaged with students from Warwick Academy, the twin school of Currumbin Valley State School as part of GC2018’s adopt a school program.