By Stuart Lisulo
THE British Council in Zambia says the Queen’s Baton Relay is great opportunity to highlight the importance of international education links and cultural relations between the countries of the Commonwealth.
British Council Zambia director David Pardoe hailed the historic official welcoming of the baton at State House in Lusaka, Saturday, following its arrival from Malawi.
Zambia hosted the Queen’s Baton ahead of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, a tradition that usually happens ahead of the Games, and passed through Kafue and Livingstone where local residents took part in one-mile relays.
Birmingham 2022 will stage the 16th official Queen’s Baton Relay – an epic journey across the Commonwealth, with The Queen’s Baton visiting all 72 nations and territories, reaching Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceania, the Caribbean and the Americas.
The Relay, which is an event that occurs throughout the Commonwealth prior to the beginning of the Commonwealth Games, began in October, 2021, once Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II placed her message to the Commonwealth into the Baton.
The Queen’s Baton arrived in Zambia from Malawi on November 19 and passed through Kafue and Livingstone in the Lusaka and Southern provinces, respectively, following its flagging off at Lusaka’s Civic Centre on Saturday, November 20, and official welcoming by President Hakainde Hichilema at State House on the same day.
Speaking at the British High Commissioner’s residence in Lusaka recently, Pardoe extoled the event as one that highlighted the importance of international education links and cultural relations between Commonwealth countries.
“The British Council has worked with schools in Zambia for many years, we are absolutely delighted to be involved in the Birmingham 2022 games by linking up schools in the UK and Zambia for this exciting event. On a personal level, as someone who was born in Birmingham and went to school in the West Midlands, this is a great opportunity to highlight the importance of international education links and cultural relations between the countries of the Commonwealth,” Pardoe said in a statement released by the Council.
And Commonwealth Games Association of Zambia Secretary General Boniface Kambikambi said that Zambia was proud to be a part of the auspicious occasion, and has hailed the Queen’s Baton as an international symbol of shared values between Britain and Zambia to promote sport as an area of common cooperation.
The British Council, being an organisation specialising in international cultural and educational opportunities, was part of the team organising the Queen’s Baton Relay in Zambia to further consolidate the longstanding relationship between the two countries.
Zambia, being a proud member of the Commonwealth, recently witnessed the baton pass through two of its major towns, with local residents who participated in one-mile relays in Kafue, culminating in the Baton’s arrival in Livingstone, Saturday, before its eventual departure for Mozambique on Monday, November 22, 2021.
Participants included teachers, pupils and Ministry of Education officials in Kafue and Livingstone.
The baton has since left the country.