In the lead-up to the 2018 Games on the Gold Coast, Australia, the baton will travel on an epic 388-day journey through the nations and territories of the Commonwealth.
Cook Islands Sports and National Olympic Committee secretary general Robert Graham said an exciting programme had been prepared to welcome the celebrated baton to Rarotonga.
“We want as many people to touch it. If you want to get photos, you can come up with your camera and take ‘selfies’ with it.”
Graham said the baton will arrive on the Gold Coast for the XXI Commonwealth Games opening ceremony on April 4 next year, where Queen Elizabeth, or a representative, will remove the message from the baton and read it aloud to officially open the Games.
“This is a unique baton made out of macadamia tree which covers the back part. The front part is made from plastics collected along the beach on the Gold Coast.
“It symbolises a clean environment. It represents a clean Games where there is no smoking, and where people look after the environment. It’s quite fitting for Team Cook Islands and its motto, ‘Team Kuki, Go Green’.”
Tomorrow – 1.35am: Queen’s Baton arrives into the Cook Islands. Welcome ceremony at the airport.
9.15am: Baton departs for the QR’s residence in Titikaveka, and will be met by Queen’s Representative Tom Marsters.
9.30am: Baton enters the QR’s residence.
10.15am: The baton will depart QR’s residence, heading to the Punanga Nui Market via Puaikura.
10.30am: Baton arrives the western entrance of the Punanga Nui Market and will be carried through the market. It will be at the market for around one hour, and will be part of the Saturday stage performance.
11.30am: Baton will depart from Punanga Nui heading to the Rarotonga beach volleyball courts, Nikao. It will detour to the CITC Liquor Centre, for 10- 15 minutes, before departing for the volleyball courts.
Following the stop at the beach volleyball courts, the baton will continue to Tikioki to be part of the Triathlon event.
4pm: Baton will arrive at the Rarotonga Bowling Club, to be hosted by club members. The baton will be there for around 30 minutes.