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The Baton on a boat at Jabi Lake 1

▲ Image: The Baton on a boat at Jabi Lake

The Queen’s Baton Relay Dances Through Nigeria

On Friday 15 October, Nigeria became the first of 19 African countries to host the Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay. The Baton spent two days dancing with locals and being immersed in Nigerian culture.

The Queen’s Baton flew into Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja, where it was received by Habu Gumel, President of Commonwealth, Games Nigeria and Sunday Dare, Minister of Youth and Sports Development. The following day, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo was presented with the Queen’s Baton, on behalf of President Buhari.

The Baton travelled to Moshood Abiola National Stadium, where Sunday Dare was in attendance. At the stadium, athletes took part in a relay followed by Vice President Osinbajo and Catriona Laing, British High Commissioner to Nigeria speaking to the media, enthusing about the inclusivity of the Games as well as the strong relationship between the Commonwealth Nations.

Spirits were high at Aduvie International School in Jahi, celebrating the visit of the Queen’s Baton Relay where students performed a dance, inspiring audience members to join in. The school is the partner institution to the University of Birmingham, official partner of the Queen’s Baton Relay. 17-year-old Abaiola Joy Jonathan represented the school as a Batonbearer, who is passionate about equal rights and equal pay in women’s sport.

▲ Images: Performing students and Batonbearer Abaiola Joy Jonathan at Aduvie International School

The day concluded with the Baton visiting the British High Commissioner.

Day two of the Baton’s African journey got under way at Jabi Lake, where athletes raced in another relay before the Baton cruised the lake on a boat ride.  The Nigerian stint came to a close in the city of Abuja, where the Baton toured the streets, radiating the spirit of the Commonwealth.

The Queen’s Baton Relay’s next stop is The Gambia on 20 October.

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