Dec 18, 2008, 5:33 AM
A good number of sports men and women converged at the July 22nd Square in
The Queen's baton arrived in the Gambian soil earlier on Friday from
The high-profile ceremony witnessed the unveiling of the Queen's baton to the Gambian people on behalf of the Gambia leader, by Sheriff Gomez, the Minister of Youth and Sports who first ran with the baton this time around.
The Youth and Sports Minister, in his opening remarks, underscored the importance of the arrival of the high- profile sporting symbol in the country.
He said "we are delighted to have imminent participation among us here as a nation with our time colours of Gambian culture with pride and dignity in this joyous occasion in the annals of sports in the country."
Minister Gomez added "I hope you would not only be witnessing the ... of the occasion but also to see for yourself the cultural diversity of our
The baton, according to Abdoulie Touray, the Vice-President for
Abdoulie Touray who was re-elected unopposed for the same position in 2008 after serving the Commonwealth for two years underscored the significance of Queen’s Baton's visit to The Gambia.
"The whole idea pertaining to Queen’s baton visit is to spread awareness and to see what the Commonwealth stands for, inorder to promote unity and diversity. This event is also a sense of belonging," Touray pointed out.
Beatrice Allen IOC member for The Gambia and First Vice-President of the Gambia National Olympic Committee also spoke at the occasion.
The ceremony also witnessed the participation of various Ministers, a match-past by participating companies, institutions, as well as cultural groups.
As part of the Baton's visit, institutions, companies and sporting associations are expected to run with the Baton from various locations in
The Baton will also visit Western Region and about 78 schools, before proceeding to the Airport for
It will be recalled that President Jammeh became the first Head of State to run with the Baton when it first visited the country in 2005.