▲ Image: Thomas Borg and Eleanor Bezzina
The Queen’s Baton Relay Celebrates Youth and History in Malta
The Queen’s Baton arrived in Malta on Tuesday 12 October, the second stop on the 294-day journey. Landing in Luqa Airport, the Baton was welcomed by Joseph Cassar, Secretary General and Julian Pace Bonello, President of the Maltese Olympic Committee.
The Baton then spent two days visiting Maltese communities and celebrating the involvement of youth in sport.
Kicking off in the city of Zejtun, Batonbearers Carla Scicluna, Jeremy Zammit, both Maltese athletes, swimmer Neil Agius, triathlete Fabio Spiteri, and sports ambassador Jake Vella visited local school, St Thomas More College Zejtun Primary. The moment was particularly meaningful for Saviour Sammut, the Head of School, who was in the same position 20 years ago when the Queen’s Baton Relay last visited the school. During the visit, students expressed their passion for sport and the Games by writing and performing a special poem.
▲ Image: Carla Scicluna
While in Mosta, Mayor Romilda Baldacchino Zarb delivered a speech about the importance of health and wellbeing outside The Sanctuary Basilica of the Assumption of Our Lady (also known as the Rotunda of Mosta) – an event made even more special for the community as 15 October marked the 150th anniversary of the dedication of the Sanctuary Basilica.
Later that day, H.E. George Vella President of Malta was introduced to Julian Pace Bonello at San Anton Palace, as well as other officials and athletes, where Bonello spoke about the significance of the Queen’s Baton.
In Lija, the Baton visited Id-Dar tal-Providenza Siggiewi, a residential home for people with disabilities. Hon Julia Farrugia Portelli, Minister for Inclusion & Wellbeing was there to discuss her passion for inclusion and equality in sports, touching on issues around disability and gender.
▲ Image: Kristy Delia and Matthew Abela
During The Baton’s final day in Malta, it explored the communities of Rabat, Mellieha, St Pauls Bay, Pembroke, St Julians, and Dingli before arriving at the British High Commission. In Mellieha, Batonbearer and Maltese weightlifter Yazmin Zammit Stevens carried the Baton to Dar il-Madonna tal-Mellieha, a community home and discussed being a woman in sport.
In St Julian’s and Dingli, their respective mayors Albert Buttigieg and Raymond Schembri welcomed the Baton and delivered speeches.
The Maltese closing event was hosted at the British High Commission. High Commissioner President George Vella spoke about the links between Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals and called on young people to get involved.