The Queen’s Baton Relay: Celebration for Schools
On 1 May 2014, elementary schools from across Southeast Ontario arrived in Toronto to participate in a Queen’s Baton Relay Celebration for Schools hosted by the British Council and Ryerson University. School board dignitaries and teachers accompanied 100 elementary students to Ryerson University where the youth engaged in Commonwealth Games sports activities, connected virtually with a primary class in Scotland, and heard from elite Canadian athletes and ministers from the UK. The students were ecstatic to meet such high profile athletes, asking for many autographs and group photos. They welcomed the chance to later participate in their own friendly athletic competition. Canadian and Scottish students were given the chance to ask one another questions about daily life in the classroom and lifestyle similarities and differences between Canada and Scotland as well as pose questions to every speaker.
The participating Canadian schools were:
- Major Ballachey Elementary, Brantford, ON
- Epiphany of Our Lord Catholic Academy, Toronto, ON
- St. Aidan Catholic School, Toronto, ON
The primary school which joined the event virtually was:
- Crown Primary School, Inverness, Scotland
Speakers included the Cabinet Secretary for Commonwealth Games and Sport from the Government of Scotland, 2012 Olympic athlete Anastasiya Muntyanu and 2010 Commonwealth Games athlete Jason Wurster.
Minister Robison commented: “The overwhelming enthusiasm displayed by young people around the globe for Glasgow 2014 is extremely heartening for all concerned, from behind-the-scenes organisers, to athletes training hard for the performance of their life.”
Game On Scotland plaques were presented to the Canadian schools by Minister Robison who said: “Congratulations to the Canadian schools who have been awarded with Game On plaques today, taking the total presented to over 100. They join hundreds of thousands of Scottish pupils learning more about our connections across the Commonwealth. It was fantastic to give a virtual welcome to pupils from Crown Primary in Inverness – the first school to get a plaque.”
The Queen’s Baton Relay began its journey in Glasgow back in October 2013. It has been making its way across the Commonwealth world for months, reaching Canada on 28 April and leaving 2 May 2014. The Baton returned to Canada on 2 June 2014 as a conclusion to its journey, visiting the birthplace of the Commonwealth Games, Hamilton, home to the 1930 British Empire Games.
This event is a part of Commonwealth Class, an exciting initiative delivered by the British Council in partnership with the BBC and the Commonwealth Secretariat. The programme connects young people from across the Commonwealth, and helps them to share their experiences and learn about Commonwealth values in the build-up to the 2014 Commonwealth Games. For more information on Commonwealth Class, please visit: http://schoolsonline.britishcouncil.org/classroom-resources/commonwealth-class.