On Saturday 14 June, the Scottish Parliament’s Presiding Officer the Rt Hon Tricia Marwick MSP will welcome the Queen’s Baton in Holyrood. It has passed through more than 60 nations, travelled more than 190,000 kilometres and been carried by over 10,000 people.
The Presiding Officer will be joined in the Debating Chamber at Holyrood by Scottish rugby legend Gavin Hastings and Edinburgh-based batonbearer Lynne McNicoll, who will hand the baton to Caitlin Osborne, the next batonbearer in this extraordinary relay. Members of the public will be able to see the baton in the Chamber before it travels later that day to Meadowbank Stadium and beyond.
Presiding Officer, the Rt Hon Tricia Marwick MSP said:
“On its first day in Scotland, I am delighted to welcome the baton into the very heart of Holyrood, our Debating Chamber. It is only fitting that as Scotland welcomes the Queen’s Baton Relay for the first time it uniquely travels through our nation’s Parliament.”
Accompanied by the Presiding Officer, the baton will be carried through the Parliament by Lynne McNicoll and Caitlin Osborne. Lynne has raised thousands of pounds for children affected by cancer through her charity ‘It’s Good 2 Give’, whilst Caitlin has completed three marathons for charity at the age of just 22 and has volunteered in Zimbabwe, teaching young children sport.
The baton will enter Holyrood through the oldest part of the campus at the Queensberry House entrance, before travelling through the Garden Lobby. Here, the Big Song Relay Choir will perform a song specially commissioned for the Queen’s Baton Relay. The baton will then be taken into the Debating Chamber.
The Presiding Officer continued:
“Throughout the Baton Relay, the excitement and anticipation for the Commonwealth Games has been building. This is certain to continue as the baton travels across Scotland. The eyes of the world will be on us as we welcome some of the world’s best athletes. I wish them all well as they compete in Glasgow and I look forward to what I know will be an exceptional Games.”
Members of the public are invited to come and watch the baton as it arrives at Holyrood passes into the Debating Chamber and on to the Main Hall. Those wishing to see this unique event should come to the Parliament in time for 12.30 pm on Saturday 14 June.
Photographs of the event will be available free of charge and issued to Picture Desks. Please contact the Scottish Parliament photographer Andrew Cowan on 0131 348 5878 with any queries.
Members of the media wishing to film or photograph the baton in the Parliament should contact Linda Peters on 0131 348 6269 or 07557 633713 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Big Sing Relay compromises singers from Singing4Fun, many of whom have Parkinson’s Disease as well as singers from Scots Music and Edinburgh University Groups and 14 members of Còisir Dhùn Èideann (Edinburgh Gaelic Choir).
The Choir will perform ‘Here’s to All Our Common Wealth’ a song specially commissioned for the Queen’s Baton Relay and which will be performed for the first time at the Scottish Parliament. The song was composed by Phil Cunningham, Karine Polwart, Findlay Napier and Ali Burns, with Gaelic lyrics by Rody Gorman and Scots Lyrics by Liz Niven.